Apr
11
 

Want to succeed? Fail first

Want to succeed? Fail first
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
~Winston Churchill

I debriefed a 360° feedback assessment this morning and it was tough. The feedback itself was a bit tough, and my client took it very hard.

“I should quit,” was the first thing she said to me. “Look at this. I should quit.”

Now, I knew that the feedback was not the harshest I’ve ever delivered, and I knew – from the little bit I knew of this client – that the feedback would land hard on her. She had gotten feedback specifically about how she tried too hard and would allow no room for mistakes or missteps, and the feedback itself felt like a huge mistake and misstep to her.

She couldn’t let it in. There was no way for her to allow herself this misstep enough to hear the feedback that she had to allow herself missteps. It was a never-ending negative circle.

All I wanted her to hear, and to know, was first, that the feedback was not as tough as she was taking it and second, that she had to learn to allow herself to fail, and perhaps fail again.

Being willing and able to fail is a leadership skill. A necessary leadership skill. In order to succeed, and to thrive, we have to be willing and able to step from failure to failure and not give up. We have to be willing and able to hear the tough feedback of how we’ve messed up and what’s getting in our way, and keep going forward. We have to take it all in, and shift and tweak our path, and aim again for our goals.

Because stuff will happen. Setbacks will occur. Missteps and mistakes will abound. We have to be willing to never give up hope and to always keep learning and growing and trying. To not quit. To not beat ourselves for what’s gone wrong. And to instead move forward.

How have you learned enthusiastically from your failures?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

To learn how to fail successfully, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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