How to Leverage Getting Fired

by Larry Chiang on July 29, 2010

Larry Chiang is a coat-tailing instructional humorist that rode the anti-MBA sentiment into pseudo celebrity fame. His 15 minutes is going into over-time with major media placements on CNN, ABC News and Wall Street Journal. He confessed to an IQ of 88 on TechCrunch and somehow manages to get Ivy League schools to pay him to speak. Chiang takes coat-tailing to legendary, record-breaking, heights. His most recent feat in the publishing world was promoting his mentor, Mark McCormack, back onto the tips of people’s lips.


By Larry Chiang

Fail forward.

It is the basis for an entire chapter in my book. My Chapter 11 is dealing with failure and moving forward from it absolutely is the difference that makes a difference.

I am eating my own dog food.


I got fired from a panel I assembled for “Summit at Stanford” because of my controversial support for entrepreneurship. Specifically applied entrepreneurship.

Here is ‘How to Leverage Getting Fired From Moderating Your Own Panel’

(1) Don’t Hide.

The first tendency after you are removed from the program is to claim you had a last minute conflict. This is wrong.

My recommendation is embrace and do not hide

Falling can help you springboard

What a Supermodel can Teach a Stanford MBA: Fail Forward

2) Don’t Spin.

I go for immediate transparency. I go for volume of information versus speaking in sound bytes.

(3) Don’t Sabotage

After I got fired I did not pull my celebs.

Remember, you don’t want a knee-jerk revenge countermeasure. I landed Chamillionaire, Mike Arrington and Robert Scoble. After I was told I was off, I was asked, “Are you pulling your talent?”

I answered, “You and your event still have 100% of my support”.

Wah-BAM. Mint that friend for life.

(4) Work the Floor.

After I got fired, continue to offer support. I also work the same floor of the conference that fired me.

Most people utter the useless phrase, “You’ll be sorry”.

I go the opposite. I say, “good job”. Often times I truly mean it. Even if I do not mean it, I would muster up enough moxie to say something along those lines. Be the bigger entity and continue your support.

Want a support from a junior or senior conference producer?!  Don’t make them a collateral casualty. Help them and collect one more fan by continuing to support what you helped create.

Leverage getting fired. Fail forward.

If you liked this…
Larry’s mentor Mark McCormack wrote this in 1983.

His own book came out 09-09-09. It is called ‘What They Don’t Teach You At Stanford Business School

This post was drafted in an hour and needs your edits… email me if you see a spelling or grammatical error(s)… larry@larrychiang com

Larry Chiang started his first company UCMS in college. He mimicked his mentor, Mark McCormack, founder of IMG who wrote the book, “What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School”.
Chiang is a keynote speaker and bestselling author and has testified before Congress and World Bank.

Text or call him during office hours 11:11am or 11:11pm PST +/-11 minutes at 650-283-8008. Due to the volume of calls, he may place you on hold like a Scottsdale Arizona customer service rep. If you email him, be sure to include your cell number in the subject line. If you want him to email you his new articles…, ask him in an email :-)

You can read more equally funny, but non-founder-focused-lessons on Larry’s Amazon blog .

Meet him at a party at Kauffman Fellows for SSE Labs or at the TechCrunch AfterParty

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