Leadership lessons from failure

publication date: Sep 27, 2012
The following article is a brief excerpt from Hilborn's premium publication, Gift Planning in Canada.

Leadership consultant Glenn Llopis has made a career-long study of the relationship between failure and leadership success. The best leaders, he says, sometimes fail - but they learn from their failures. 

Failure, he continues, can teach you how to manage adversity, why opportunities didn't pan out, which relationships could have fuelled your own progress and your organization's goals if you'd only developed them properly. 

He offers these tips to help you make the most of your failures. 

Confront your failure and learn from it. Failure hurts. But instead of running away from it or masking it, face it boldly. Figure out what you could have done better, Llopis urges. Get feedback from anyone else who was involved. 

Build a better team. After you've identified your own part in the failure, look at the organizational systems, processes and assumptions that might need improving. Get others to work with you to improve systems and processes and change assumptions. 

Trust yourself and make more decisions. Once you've understood why you've failed, Llopis says, you might realize you weren't that far from success. Now you have two lessons to guide your future decisions: what didn't work, and what would have worked. 

Second chances abound. Llopis describes failure as "a wake-up call for the next opportunity." Failure can teach you to identify second chances and hidden opportunities. 

Appreciate your responsibilities. Anything that makes you better at your role - including learning from your failures - sets you up for a greater positive effect on everyone within your sphere of influence, Llopis claims. 

Hilborn's Janet Gadeski analyses Llopis' ideas on failure and leadership in this month's issue of Hilborn's premium publication, Gift Planning in Canada. You can receive thought-provoking, leadership-focused articles like these each month by subscribing. We spend a lot of time researching and sifting ideas so you don't have to! 



Read Glen Llopis' full post.


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