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Why Intellectual Humility Is Just As Important As Being Confident

"Failing up" might be your new favourite thing.

Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckerberg. Elon Musk. Bill Gates.

All players in Silicon Valley, all incredible successful entrepreneurs who have risen to the top thanks in part to their confident nature.

But it wasn't their confidence alone that brought them to the forefront, it was confidence combined with another quality, one that might be even more important when it comes to working environments.

In the above interview, Fortune's Clifton Leaf sat down with co-founder of Guardant Health Inc., Helmy Eltoukhy, to discuss why intellectual humility is more important than confidence.

Although Eltoukhy says "supreme confidence," the "optimism and the drive to do more," is vital to succeed, it must also be combined with intellectual humility. Bryan Roberts, a partner at the venture capital firm Venrock, defines that quality as "the ability to recognize and acknowledge what one doesn’t know, to identify and adapt to valuable new information, and to learn from the inevitable mistakes."

And not doing so can be a big problem for employers.

If you don't fail and learn from your mistakes, you are not given the opportunity to move forward and learn respect for the complexity of systems, as Eltoukhy puts it. So failure, surprisingly, is important.

For more of what Helmy Eltoukhy has to say on the matter, check out the video above.

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