Let’s be honest, no one sets out to fail. In fact, many of us build very strong fences around this area of failure so that we can withstand the storm of setbacks. We spend lots of time, energy and dollars doing everything we can to avoid failures. Even to the point where the sunk cost on a situation would be better to walk away but our ego kicks in and we spend more time, money, and energy not to finish the project but to reduce the embarrassment of failing. The paradox of this matter is that our greatest growth tends to happen when we experience some level of setback or failure.
History teaches us many lessons if we choose to look inside the details. If you want to understand some of the most successful leaders in the past 2000 years you need to take some time to read about their journeys. You will find that they all have had some type of setback which in many cases would cause us to stop the pursuit and take a different path to a completely different outcome. Some would look at this as a reasonable approach to take the input and give up on this one in pursuit of something less risky.
Others would take the challenge and dig deeper into why it happened and what can be learned from it so the next time we can overcome the issue and prosper timelier and effectively. This discipline of stopping and evaluating challenges or potential setbacks is the special ingredient leaders need to grow from failures rather than tuck and run away.
It has been proven that our minds have a significant impact on the outcomes in our lives. When we think we can, then we can and if we think we can’t, then we can’t. Take for example medical issues; people have been diagnosed with life-ending medical issues. Those who choose to beat the challenge have a higher success rate of extending life and in some cases remarkably turn the entire diagnosis around. Those who throw in the towel, in situations like this, quickly deteriorate and lose the battle of the health challenge. The same is true for leaders and challenges that are presented in the business setting. If the leader elects to succumb to the failure, then the timeline for implosion is set. If on the other hand the leader chooses to learn from the challenge and grow from it with new and different ways of overcoming it, then they raise their chances of a better outcome. This builds a discipline and framework which can be applied to all future challenges.
We are not suggesting that all situations are learning opportunities. Some have higher risk potential and thus the growth from them can be a larger reward. Sometimes the reward does not come for the current challenge or problem. It presents itself in a future project or situation and the reward is magnified to a bigger level. The space between the event of setbacks or failure and the recovery of growth in the future is what causes us to not be so interested in learning from the events. We are so wrapped up in instant gratification and results we don’t want to take the time to learn from our mistakes and build a better way for the future.
As you look at ways to avoid setbacks this week in your business, consider looking at those challenges which you might designate as failures. What can you learn from them and not repeat those conditions again? How can you allow yourself to be willing to grow through failure or even more importantly letting your team members grow through failures? We don’t promote setting people up for failure just to learn. On the other hand, as a leader, are you prepared to handle a setback correctly in order to get the greatest return on the failure?
Wondering how to learn from setbacks with your team members so not to cause irreversible damage to the business but allow an environment where setbacks are productive and not destructive? Give your Promise Guide a call at MI (313) 527-7945 or FL (407) 984-7246.
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