Giáo trình

Staying on Top When Your World's Upside Down


Rescue your failures

Tác giả: Joe Tye

“You will take risks, and you will have failures. But it’s what happens afterward that is defining. A failure often does not have to be a failure at all… It’s all about mastery of rescue.”
Atul Gawande MD: “Failure and Rescue” in The New Yorker, June 4, 2012

In the article quoted above Dr. Gawande, who is a surgeon, says that problems are inevitable in any surgical procedure, and the skill of the surgeon is as much about rescuing a situation gone bad as it is preventing that failure in the first place. Again, anything can look like a failure in the middle. That is where the leader, as with the surgeon, is called upon to shine.

In business, the most loyal customers are often those who had a bad experience in which the company went above and beyond the call of duty to make it right. I once purchased a back-up power supply on It failed almost immediately and I posted a negative review. Within several hours I got an email from the manufacturer asking me to return the device for a replacement. This arrived several days later, having been shipped out before the defective unit was returned. A week later I got an email asking how the replacement unit was working (it was fine) and offering to send me a free cable for my new iPhone (which I didn’t need). I went back to and amended my review from one to five stars, and wrote that if I could I would have given the company six stars for customer service.

Conversely, a failure to make good on a problem can result in unhappy ex-customers who go out of their way to tell others about their bad experience.

Contrast the customer service excellence I experienced with a defective power supply with the atrocious treatment I received at the hands of the eye clinic where I had Lasik surgery. After Lasik left me with serious double vision, impaired visual acuity, chronic eye pain, and a host of other problems, the clinic that performed the surgery dropped me like a hot potato. Trying to get them to help me cope with the damage they had caused was about as productive as trying to carry on an intelligent conversation with a dead bug.

Had I been treated half as well by the clinic that mangled my eyes as I was by the manufacturer that sold me a defective power supply I would have let it drop there. But in the frustrating trial-and-error process of trying to navigate the medical system to find ways to cope with the damage done to my eyes I learned that there are thousands of Lasik casualties and that far too many Lasik surgeons (including those at the clinic where I had mine done) have compromised their integrity by putting their financial interests ahead of patient welfare.

Had the eye clinic made a reasonable effort to “rescue their failure” by helping me cope with the damage they caused, it would not have turned me into a raving fan but it would have prevented me becoming an activist trying to warn others, especially young people, about the potential dangers of Lasik that too many financially-conflicted doctors try to minimize, and from posting a series of videos and documents, including a complete record of the almost-exclusively one-way correspondence between me and them and a copy of a malpractice lawsuit filed against them by a patient who suffered injuries far more catastrophic than mine.

By the way, if you or someone you love is considering Lasik eye surgery, please do your homework. The scientist who was head of the FDA ophthalmic division when Lasik was approved is now trying to get the procedure banned because the industry submitted fraudulent data to gain the approval and continues to cover up bad outcomes to prevent the procedure from being banned. I have good reason to believe the clinic that mangled my eyes failed to report the adverse outcome to the FDA, which they are legally required to do, and settled the catastrophic lawsuit out-of-court to keep it out of the public eye.

These videos and documents are posted at

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