Newswise — (Washington, D.C.) January 3, 2018 –  Robert (Bob) Sicina has more than three decades of success at some of America’s most recognizable companies. But these days, he’s 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 we fail in decision making and how we can 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.

“The book is peppered with real-life stories that are always interesting and sometimes amusing,” he adds.

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.



About The Kogod School of Business American University is known for its distinctive character­—as a place where students learn from leaders in their fields and are engaged in active citizenship. Our Washington, D.C. location serves as a laboratory for learning through work, internships, and other forms of experiential education. The Kogod School of Business embodies this character. We know that doing business in the capital, where all industries and all sectors meet, is unlike doing business anywhere else in the world and we are committed to preparing our graduates to excel in this elite environment. Kogod is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). To learn more about the Kogod School of Business, visit

Book Link: “Learn from Failure: The Key to Successful Decision Making,”