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Leading Through Failure To Success


We live in a hyper-competitive society. Well, maybe some people have accepted the status quo, but not the high achieving crowd!

I can completely relate with those who have the drive to be the best. Some of you will be very familiar with the Strengthsfinder analysis. Heck, my number one strength is Competition. Of course, I have told my wife many times that I am now completely convinced that the Strengthsfinders assessment must now be proven to be wrong. There is no way Competition is my number one strength. I don’t even consider myself to be competitive. I decided a long time ago to leave competitiveness to those fighting for second place.

Okay, maybe I am just a “little bit” competitive. ;) On second thought, dang it, that report nailed me dead on! Anyway…

Leaders often feel the burden to be number one in everything they do. You see this philosophy in sports all the time, especially when leadership changes are often made so quickly when a team produces a poor season of results.

I am by no means suggesting that our society should begin to tolerate incompetence and poor performance. However, leaders have to be able to accept that failure is part of the process of success. One thing that is worse than failing is to accept the status quo in a means to avoid the experience of failure.

A leader is not someone who always wins, but rather someone who knows how to handle victory or defeat well. A leader will process the experience of failure, determine the root causes, develop an action plan to address them, and then take massive action immediately.

The difference in a leader and someone who is not is that a leader will always put their team in a position to have a chance to achieve victory. When a leader experiences the inevitable failures along the way, they immediately accept full responsibility for that failure. More importantly, they learn from it.

There is an old saying that “experience is the mother of all teachers”. That is simply not true. Evaluated experience is the mother of all teachers. Keep in mind that responsibility is not blame and self-evaluation is not intended to be an event where you beat yourself up.

If you want to achieve a winning record and guarantee that over time you can develop to a place where you win far more than you lose, embrace the process today. The losses will never feel good. That’s okay; they shouldn’t. However, if you evaluate each one and then take massive action on the plans you put in place as a result of them, you will position yourself so that your successes become predictable, consistent, and sustainable.


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