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Fail Much? We Do!

We are often told amazing stories of great leaders who are able to achieve the unimaginable—people like Benjamin Franklin, Walt Disney, and Steve Jobs. While these stories are inspirational, it’s easy to write them off as something that is achievable by only the greatest leaders, but probably not me.

In our last newsletter, we challenged you to rethink the way you view failure- not as something to be shunned and avoided, but as something to be embraced as an opportunity for learning and growth (read the article on our blog). I stumbled upon a discussion on failure initiated by Catalyst, an organization that holds conferences for leaders across the world. I found the comments an encouraging reminder that this change in perspective works for everyday people like you and me.

Here are some of the responses to their question, “As a leader, how has failure shaped you?”

“Strength and wisdom – and so much clarity – I’ve learned and been equipped by failure at least as much (if not more) as success.”

“It has helped me give more grace and understanding toward others when they fall short. And I can provide some light at the end of the tunnel perspective they feel like they will never recoup.”

 “Now I can look back at failures or mistakes and find nuggets of wisdom…and then, pass that knowledge onto others.”

“Failure is the signpost to success. Keep it up, and we will get there if we keep in the fight.”

 “It drives me to learn new strategies or acquire more information so I don’t fail in the same area again. The accumulation of knowledge has helped me to leap frog off the failures and propel myself forward.”

 “It has taken off a lot of the pressure that I put on myself. Not just failure, but accepting the fact that I am prone to it, and that it doesn’t diminish me as a leader.”

Now we want to ask YOU: How as failure shaped you as a leader? Send  your comments to sara.curtis@leaderslyceum.com, and we’ll add them to our blog! (Let us know whether or not you want your name included in the post).