You’re Not Too Good to Fail

Without a foundation of trust, your efforts will be in vain

Papa CJ
2 min readFeb 11, 2022


Photo by Nicola Barts from Pexels

Summary: There’s a reason we sometimes fail miserably at tasks we can usually execute standing on one leg, while juggling puppies with our eyes closed. You might have killed a presentation to one group and then failed miserably when delivering it to another. How can someone be so bad immediately after being so good?

  • As a stand-up comedian, I have seen this firsthand. To manage it, I believe in starting my gigs by first building trust with the audience. I usually structure my sets with the safer and more palatable material at the top before moving on to content that is more contentious or risqué.
  • As my performance progresses and the audience starts to like and understand me, a foundation of trust begins to form. The audience is then more willing to let me lead them to places where they may not have been willing to go initially.
  • As an executive coach I am always respectful of my clients’ knowledge and experience. First, I make an effort to understand them and the context in which they operate. Second, I don’t presume or proclaim to know better. I explore developmental paths together, based on the response I get from my client’s actions in real time.

Read the full article as published in Harvard Business Review HERE.

Below are a few more of my articles, in case you missed them.

  1. How To Make More Money By Thinking Funny
  2. Mixtapes: The Greatest Show of Romantic Love
  3. 10 Ways to Be Known for a Good Sense of Humour
  4. Silence Is a Powerful Measure of Engagement
  5. The 2022 CEO needs to be a Chief Empathy Officer
  6. Pitch Your Next Idea Like a Stand-up Comedian

Have a lovely weekend!

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Papa CJ

Professional comedian. Published author. Disappointing lover. Oxford MBA. Executive coach. Website: Newsletter: