Everybody experiences failures on their way to success. Failing is difficult and leaders must try to avoid failures but not at any cost. If leaders or executives try to avoid failures at any cost they might be missing on opportunities that could have led them or their organization to new heights. And that would be more of a failure. Good leadership is all about being aware of the risks they are about to take. Leaders should do their due diligence before taking on an initiative. They should not let fear of failure get the better of them. And if they fail, they should not play the blame game but own up to their mistakes.
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Following are ways good leaders use failure as motivation:
Thinking beyond success and failure: Mistakes are inevitable when an initiative is taken but some are excusable errors others are out of sloppiness or negligence. With good leadership skills, executives can identify excusable mistakes and approach them as outcomes to be learned from and built upon. It helps leaders to create a non-punishable environment for mistake making, while allowing them to encourage thoughtfully pursued projects, in which, if employees fail, will lead to productive mistakes. The same principle can be applied to successes as well. A success due to a fortunate incident should not be taken in the same way as a thoughtfully pursued project with hard work which led to success.
Being more engaged: Good leaders take victory and defeat in their stride. They do not get consumed by defeats and neither do they get overwhelmed by successes. They focus their energy on increasing a company’s intellectual capital like employee knowledge, experience and creativity. They do this by being more engaged. They take interest in employee projects instead of just evaluating their performance. They ask questions to understand and interpret the project. They are in a position to see the work in a larger context, which makes them the ideal people to discuss the project with. Genuine engagement can take a lot more time than what managers usually spend on a project. So the occasions for doing so must be chosen carefully.
Collaborate to innovate: Sometimes, for good leaders to create an environment where people are comfortable with failure, they have to make employees abandon traditional ideas about personal competition. Workplace competition makes coworkers think about winning rather than solving problems and moving projects forward. Employees who feel they are being judged on conventional concepts of success and failure, and who feel they are competing against their fellow coworkers inhibit free flow of communication, which is so important for innovation. They want to protect information rather than share it. The same thing happens when there are prizes for performance. It leads to employees competing rather than collaborating. Good leaders encourage collaboration rather than competition, knowing it is the real road to innovation.
Good leaders send clear messages to their employees that constructive mistakes are not just acceptable but encouraged. Employees feel they have been given the permission to explore, no longer thinking in terms of success and failure but in terms of learning and experience.
Reference: How Can Executives Use Failure To Their Advantage? | Work it Daily | October 20, 2020
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