For many, success is simply a matter of winning or getting things right every time. In reality, success can also be found through failure. It is simply a matter of how you choose to view your failures and what you take from them. With a positive outlook and an understanding of where the ball was dropped, failure can be a learning experience that takes you to the next level of effective leadership. In order to truly grow as a leader, you must learn to rise from each failure and turn it into your next big success.
Shake It Off
Quickly shaking off negativity is the best way to overcome it. Wallowing in the feeling of defeat will do little for you or for your team. The 24-hour rule is a good standard to live by when deciding just how much time you should spend on negative feelings following a failure. The faster you shake it off, the faster you will bounce back.
Seek Out Lessons
Take some time to analyze your actions and reactions to figure out exactly where things went wrong. Learn from the mistakes and come up with scenarios and ideas that will prevent those mistakes from being repeated. Careful consideration of problems and issues, how they occurred and what could have been done a little differently can ultimately lead to a more efficient and productive way to complete the task at hand.
Celebrate Small Victories
Acknowledging the things that you did well is just as important as recognizing the mistakes you made. There are almost certain to be high points alongside the trouble points. Make a point to give your team (and yourself) credit when it is deserved. Remind yourself that you and your team are humans, and therefore mistakes are a given at times. It’s okay to find the silver lining to help lighten the situation.
Set the Example for Handing Failure
As a leader, those who report to you are watching to see your reactions to both success and to failure. By owning your mistakes, rather than placing blame, and finding the lessons that will prevent them being repeated, you can set the standard for your team’s reactions when they are faced with failure. Getting them used to change new processes will also help your team become more agile. In addition to gaining respect, your team will be more likely to follow the example. They will adopt the practice of learning from their own mistakes and admitting their mistakes, creating a stronger, more resilient team.
In business, as in life, some failures are little harder to swallow than others. However, almost every situation offers a lesson to be learned and a way to improve as a leader. Every path to greatness will have some bumps and obstacles along the way. By making the choice to turn those obstacles into wins, you will create a clearer path for you and your team.
For insights on managing all generations within your team through failure and success, check out our white paper.