People who are afraid of failure shouldn’t seek leadership roles. In a lot of ways leading is about taking risks and pushing the limits of yourself and your team. As our world continues to speed up and change is ever present, many leaders today are operating in uncharted territory. The old consistency and tried and true methods aren’t usually applicable.
Success doesn’t equate to learning. You will learn far more from your failures that you will from your successes. Don’t be ashamed of or omit your failures from your bio. When you fail you also show your team that mistakes are okay, provided that you can take what you have learned and turn it into success.
I’m not suggesting your fail on purpose. If something you are thinking of doing clearly is not in the best interests of your organization, team or customers then don’t do it. I’m also not suggesting that there won’t be consequences for amassing multiple failures. But when it happens, and it will, don’t sweep it under the rug, instead embrace it, analyze it and grow from it.
Here are three ways you can turn a failure into an advantage:
Own it, don’t spread it. It’s so easy to point the finger and find scapegoats. When you point fingers rather than owning the failure, you are irreparably damaging someone else’s credibility and possibly their future with your organization.
Study and succeed from your mistakes. Sometimes valuable lessons are disguised as failures. Don’t run away from them. When you do that you do not examine what really went wrong and thus miss the learning opportunity. Making mistakes and growing from them is likely how you found yourself in a leadership role to begin with.
Once you own it correct it quickly. Great leaders recognize that the faster you own the mistake, the quicker you can implement a course correction. If you are spending your time figuring out how to avoid owning the failure, the longer it will take to find the solution to turn it around.
Seldom is failure one particular event. Rather, it is a collection of mistakes and circumstances that come together to test your patience. Failure alongside of strong ethics motivates and innovates. Failure alongside of poor ethics will lead to desperation. When you fail as a result of ethics it is much harder to recover.
Resilience and agility are the greatest edge you will have in business. When you suffer your first failure or the many that will follow, give up your ego, own the failure, find the key learning’s and move forward towards your next success.
Malcolm Forbes is quoted as saying “failure is success if we learn from it”. What failure can you learn from today?
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