Robert (Bob) Sicina, the son of Vincent Sicina and Rose Traskus of Florida, NY, has more than three decades of success at some of America’s most recognizable companies. But these days he is fixated on failure. After studying how and why companies go from boom to bust, Sicina’s debut book, “Learn from Failure: The Key to Successful Decision Making,” explores why some people fail in decision making and how to learn from those failures.
From the boardroom to the living room, Sicina, an executive in residence at American University’s Kogod School of Business, found three common threads that increase the chances of failure.
“Irrationality, complexity and uncertainty are the three key drivers of failure in decision making,” he says. “I provide action steps for effectively dealing with each.”
“Learn from Failure” is no book of theory. It features real examples of failed decisions. In addition to Sicina’s own brushes with failure, he gives examples of major failures at organizations such as Blackberry, Microsoft, AOL/TimeWarner, and Enron. While the book is a prescription for dealing with failure, Sicina notes that it is not a guide that leads to perfection.
“If you do everything I say, you’ll still fail,” he cautions, “but you’ll fail less often.”
Sicina has 30 years of experience in senior executive positions at Citibank, American Express and various entrepreneurial endeavors.