Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
Bill Gates’s first company was a failure.
James Dyson tried and failed 5,127 times.
Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own company.
The list of leaders who suffered ignominiously is endless.
and there is also a list of leaders who bounced back from failure like a phoenix from the ashes.
That said, Leaders are human also, and the last time I checked humans are notorious for failure.
And Leadership and innovation aren’t qualities that people are born with; they’re earned after a lifetime of hard work and diligence. In the face of overwhelming odds or critical failures, it’s easy to lose sight of your aspirations, but the charismatic leaders we admire throughout history don’t give in to that temptation. They work to overcome any challenge.
And here are some effective ways in which new leaders can regain composure and continue to lead productively after suffering a setback.
Admit the Mistake and Take Responsibility for Failure.
Nothing can hurt more than being in the “self-denial” mode.
It is important for a leader at this stage to be “large-hearted” and admit his mistake and take responsibility. This will not only improve his image but also help him to garnish the much-needed support he requires at this stage to “clean up” the mess.
No Excuses and Scapegoats. Find the root cause
Failure is Failure and this is the stark naked truth.
Any leader trying to find “suitable” excuses or “scapegoats” will be digging his own grave. Instead, this is the time in which, deep-dive is required to find the root cause of failure with the ways and means to correct it.
Get the Support of a Godfather
The leader’s very existence is under question and no one wants to be associated with him.
At this stage, the leader should enlist the support of a “godfather” who is high up in the organization and is willing to give him “one more chance”. This godfather is the only survival lifeline the leader has at this stage.
Revamp Your Inner Coterie of Advisors
The leader’s inner coterie of advisors has gradually degenerated into a team of sycophants and bootlickers.
The leader should throw these guys out and surround himself with people who can dare to speak the truth in front of his face without any fear. He needs solid, hard-hitting advice at this stage.
Allow Rats to Abandon the Ship
As the ship sinks, the rats are the first to abandon the ship.
Do not stop these rats. They will only hasten the decay and hold the leader to “ransom” for fulfilling their “exorbitant” demands. The leader should start scouting for new talent with passion, skill, and expertise to support him at this crucial juncture.
Dream Big but Plan Small
Dreams can be big at this stage but the planning has to be small.
Every objective has to be broken down into small independently managed chunks so that work execution can happen faster and visible progress can be shown. It is important to show progress, even it is small to start with.
Celebrate Small Wins. Build Morale
Wins are a must at this juncture, however small they can be.
Every win needs to be celebrated with gusto and everyone associated with it should be rewarded and appreciated. This is required to boost up the much-needed morale within the organization.
Market the Wins. Gain Ground. Gain Followers
Marketing the wins is equally important.
The leader needs to advertise the wins shamelessly on every occasion and in every forum. This will not only help him to build his credibility but also gain him more followers to support his endeavor.
Consolidate the Wins. Build the Change Team
Every win needs to be kept in prime shape with constant improvements and consolidation.
The “win” areas are the “model” of his future dream and the “inspiration” of the current workforce so it is important that they stay that way always. Change teams need to be in place to manage it.
Tweak, Iterate, Revalidate the plan continuously
Plans have to be dynamic, nimble and in line with the times.
The leader at this stage should make sure that every plan is in ship-shape and is capable of delivering in any possible circumstance. Every risk as much as possible should be identified and factored in. Nothing can be left to chance as there is no room for failure at this stage.
Learn, Enhance and Fortify your Skills Every Single Day.
The leader can only remove his “tag of incompetence” by constant learning and enhancement of his own skills.
His stature will improve only with knowledge and he should make sure that he practices it every single day. Knowledge is the only saving grace.
Life can feel like a rollercoaster sometimes. One week you’re on cloud nine and the next you find yourself stuck in a web of disappointment and failure.
The highs and lows that we experience tend to make or break us. It takes a strong individual to realize when they make mistakes, but an even stronger person to recover from their missteps.
It is essential to wake up every day with an optimistic attitude. Whether you wake up on the right or wrong side of the bed, positivity is the key to turning even the ugliest of situations into gold.
Life does not always go according to plan, so embracing the mistakes we make and transforming them into lessons we can learn from in the future is very important. Everyone experiences setbacks, failure is unavoidable and, in reality, nobody is anywhere near perfect.
We must not let these setbacks define our lives, but rather let them pave new roads to success and happiness. We need to take these experiences and turn them into something constructive.
As Payal Kadakia has rightly said-:
I reason that as long as I’m smiling 90 percent of the time, I can handle the setbacks that occur 10 percent of the time.