Leadership: How to View Failure and Losses as Opportunities
Successful leaders have not become popular overnight. The place they are today is because they learned from their failure and losses. It didn't bring them down nor demotivate them. Instead, they took it in their stride as a challenge and worked through it. Failure and losses are part of life and a learning process. Both are used as tools in successful leadership. Leaders and experts agree that failure and success are two sides of the same coin. Failure or loss shouldn't be lamented upon. People should not consider failure as something bad. They should learn and grow themselves. Experts and leaders agree that sometimes, failure is inevitable. People need to look at it effectively, analyse it and move on and see to that it's not repeated in the near future. Failure and loss is a stepping stone. There shouldn't be any blame game, putting the responsibility on other people's shoulders. This makes things worse and leaders lose credibility with their people. People choose leaders when they find them trustworthy and sincere. This is based on the potential leader's actions and words. If words and actions go together, people see the potential leader as reliable and sound. Being a leader is not easy. It's a huge responsibility. Leaders have to stand up to the people's expectations. They have to work for the people. If the people are not satisfied, the leader easily loses his or her position. This in turn is a failure or loss for the leader. It takes them years of hard work to get back up.
Why Leaders Fail
Overconfidence usually leads to failure. Confidence is good but pride, arrogance and regarding oneself as the best or better than the rest is a no, no. Leaders usually fail when they stray away from their goals. They think that they can hoodwink their team or the people. Other reasons of failure are:
- Selfishness: leaders lose interest in the people, the very people who gave them the leadership position. The leader becomes power hungry and looks at filling up his pockets.
- Loss of vision: this happens when the leaders lose direction. They stop listening to their team players. Leaders begin to think that they don't need advice. They can run everything by themselves.
- Losing focus: this happens when leaders become power hungry. They want to take up higher positions and want to satisfy everyone. This cannot happen as the team and the people get affected.
- Don't like change: the world is changing fast. Leaders need to keep up and they need to adopt and adapt. Leaders fail because they are not able to change. They harp on the same old ideas.
Leadership is no a one-man position. It's a collaboration; a team effort. Leaders need to be constantly in touch with the people.
To Overcome the Situation and Stand Up
Failure should not be seen as the end. In fact, it should be regarded as a new beginning. If a person doesn't fail, they won't be able to learn and improve themselves. They won't be able to develop themselves. Failure and loss should be regarded as part and parcel of leadership, and leaders should be ready for it. Leaders can overcome failure by:
- Taking full responsibility: there shouldn't be any blame game. It's best to take a step back and go through the process; see what led to the failure. Then work on it accordingly.
- Learn from it: one can learn only by admitting and taking responsibility. Have an open mind and learn from it. Don't lament over it. Try to find solutions and take accountability of the process or actions. Try to talk to all those who were part of it.
- Take it as a challenge: losses are painful and it's difficult to get over it. People say that success is sweet and failure is bitter. This is true but the bitterness should not destroy relations or one's skills. Failure should be taken as a challenge to rise up again. One can prove that they are capable of coming back up.
- Investing time and resources: one should invest time and resources wisely. Use the failure to make others aware. Look for ways of tackling it. Don't let it negatively affect one's confidence and self-esteem.
Every one emerges from failure as a good and better leader. They must set examples for others. Failure is not the end. It's a process, something similar to metamorphosis. The person must remain optimistic. Failure and success are part of life. It makes us all a better person. Moreover, it brings out the best in everyone.