Carlos Ghosn: You’re always afraid to fail. Even today I’m afraid to fail. Everybody is afraid to fail, but at the same time this is a remedy to success also, because if you’re not afraid to fail you’re not going to be successful. If you approach an important task or an important challenge (with) hands in the pocket, flower in your mouth, thinking that you have everything to be successful, you’re going to be in bad shape, because you can’t ever really calculate and anticipate the kind of problems and the depth of the problems you’re going to face. So being afraid to fail is really a necessary condition — not sufficient— but a necessary condition to be eager to learn, open-minded, listening to people, betting on the team, building the team around you, because you know that you’re not going to do it alone. Fear of failure is really something extremely healthy for people in order to prepare for success.
And the day you don’t feel these anxieties, you’re probably too old for the job. Or it means that you’re going to have to pass it on to somebody else who are going to feel this huge anxiety and this fear before the big events, and if something goes wrong, what’s going to happen. So I think it’s something which is healthy. Now if being afraid of failure paralyzes you, now you have a problem, but if it is something which stretched you, makes you more human, more open, understanding more the people around you, then it is a strength.