Posts Tagged ‘failure’

Failing Forward

January 18, 2011 7 comments

Failing LeadershipSomehow, somewhere, I will fail today as a leader.

You need to hear that. I need to hear that. We all fall short of perfection as leaders. One of the things that sets exceptional leaders apart from all the rest is how they manage their failures.

The important question isn’t “will I fail?” The important question is:

How will I respond when I fail?

Will I deny it?
Will I gloss over it or downplay it’s significance?
Will I make excuses, blaming someone or something else?
Will I make hollow promises about “the next time”?
Will I let it crush my self-confidence?
Will I give up or give in?


Will I admit my mistake and accept responsibility?
Will I allow myself to feel sick to my stomach?
Will I apologize to those who deserve it?
Will I correct it and work to prevent a repeat failure?
Will I choose to trust myself and others?
Will I keep leading, keep serving?

The answer to that question – How will I respond when I fail? – truly reveals the kind of leader I am. The place where I’m failing is the place I’m learning, growing, and improving as a leader.

How are you at failing forward as a leader?