How Leaders Fail Forward-Leadership Mastermind Roundup!

By March 8, 2016Uncategorized

Great leaders have the ability to take a failure or setback and turn it into gold.  Losing or failing is not failure in itself.  True failure is a question of how you learn to deal with a particular situation in life.  We see it all the time as professionals, whether it’s our business struggle or our leadership suffers a setback, we learn how to respond to challenges.  How we choose to communicate in these intense and sometimes very emotional situations can have a big impact on our ability to lead a meaningful life.

Tal Shnall

Personal Development and Leadership Coach, Speaker, Trainer.

Winston Churchill once said that, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Failure is part of success. Each setback and each challenge is part of the growth every leader faces at one time or another. Failure happens to all of us. The question is how do we frame and respond to failure? In order to be a leader, you must know how to be humble and graciously deal with failures.

As a student of leadership and a practitioner, I can tell you that all great leaders have failed at some point or another. But, the best leaders have demonstrated that failure or setbacks can test their leadership and character.  Helen Keller reminds us that, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and … and success achieved.” Failure is in the eye of the beholder. Are you becoming better through it or bitter through it?

Liz Stincelli

Founder, Stincelli Advisors and Leadership Consultant

While we don’t need to learn how to fail; failing comes natural. In order to fail forward, we need to learn stop fearing failure. How do we stop fearing failure? We start seeing failure as a way to move forward rather than something that pushes us back. We must recognize that our failures do not define us. They offer us the opportunity to pause and reevaluate our plan and our direction. Failing is how we gain the confidence needed to tackle difficult challenges. When we move forward from failure, we prove to ourselves and others that we are capable of handling anything life throws our way. So, if you are reevaluating, learning, and gaining confidence, you are failing forward.

Kelli Smithgall

Social Media Strategist, Community Manager

It’s in our biology and psychology to have fear of failure, and not one person is exempt from that fear. It can paralyze us and hold us back because we’re prone to be safety-minded instead of growth-minded. But, failure means you’re taking action in something, and action is the name of the game. Of course pressure and failure can be a lot to handle, but you have to push through it, be focused, stay in that mindset, be open to all doorways, and work harder after every loss. There’s opportunity in failure and when we learn to see them as such, and not fear them, it can take us to whole new worlds. Patience and failure will lead to victory, so don’t let failure mess with your view.

Cheri Essner

Founder of Kore Builders, Management Consultant

We can learn from failure, if we are willing to take a step back and look objectively at what role we played. It is so important to be able to admit when we are wrong and if necessary make amends. Failures in my life have allowed me to be softer, more tolerant and forgiving of myself and other people.  Embrace experiences good or bad as they shape who you are. Most importantly I have learned that I am braver then I ever gave myself credit for.  Go ahead and take that leap of faith, no matter how it turns out you will be wiser, stronger and more self-aware.

 Doug Dickerson

Executive Director at Management Moment Leadership Services. Leadership author, columnist, and speaker.

Failure- It’s not a word we readily embrace as leaders because there is a certain stigma attached to it. But if you look at any successful leader and trace their steps to success you will find a path littered with failures. It’s part of the journey. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I know in my own experiences with failure and likely in yours too, that my attitude determines not whether I will fail but how I will fail. The sooner I own up to my failure, examine what I did right and wrong, look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow, the sooner successes will follow. Failing forward-not backward is the goal. Keep your right attitude and you will move forward in the right direction.

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