HBIC in Action: Leticia Gasca Serrano


Leticia Gasca Serrano

Director, The Failure Institute

Leticia is currently the Director of the Failure Institute (yes, failure), the first think tank dedicated to the study of business failure. She discovered the power and influence in sharing her own failure story and eventually co-founded FuckUp Nights with four others and a team of 10 members. Leticia had a big wakeup call about five years ago when she realized that her biggest failures were something that other people could be learning from, but that she had been hiding because of shame. Now you can go to her linkedin profile and read her failures. Get her on the phone or chat with her personally and she’ll walk you through them.

wolf & heron: What values are important to you?

Leticia Gasca Serrano: This is something I refine every couple of years. Right now, I’m focused on the value of being vulnerable and transparent, but years ago, I would have given a different answer. The power of vulnerability is amazing and we need to put it on the table in the business world. It’s so important to be honest in order to help other people realize it’s okay to fail and share what they have learned.

w&h: If you think into the future, 10 - 15 years from now, what are you hoping to achieve?

LGS: I want to increase the survival rate of businesses, mainly in developing countries. The average lifespan of a business in Mexico is 2 years. We can do this by identifying those mistakes and challenges that are killing businesses early in order to help them have better life expectancy. This might involve resources, skills, influencing public policy or something else completely.

w&h: Can you share a story that illustrates how you have had to be influential in your WorkLife?

LGS: My failure story is one of those...I created a social enterprise to support a group of indigenous women embroidering handcrafts. I did everything by the book, from a business plan to execution. After 2 years, it seemed like everything we thought was right became unrealistic and one night I realized the business was dead and I had missed so many things along the way. So I did the only thing I knew how to do, which was to be honest. With myself, with investors and with the women. In doing this, I learned that I should have made these women central vs dependent on me. I had done the opposite of creating the positive impact.

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Leticia's Words of Wisdom

On Failure

“It’s so important to be honest in order to help other people realize it’s okay to fail.”

On Skills

“The most important skill is probably not being afraid to ask. If you ask and they say no, you didn’t lose a thing. But if they say yes, you can win a lot.”

On Learning

“Something that helps me learn is talking about personal challenges with people I trust.”

On Career

“Create your own thing.”