Failure, a critical part of leadership development

N°139b – Synopsis (8p.) – Learning
Failure,  a critical part of leadership development
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Failure is a great learning opportunity, and thus an essential component of leadership development. How can people learn from their mistakes and find the nerve to bounce back?

Failure is generally hard to take, as it tends to highlight our limitations and flaws. People who fail are also likely to be criticized, judged, and even sanctioned for failing.

So, does this mean we should try to avoid making mistakes at any cost? Certainly not, assert the authors of our selected publications. Failure, it so happens, is one of the best teachers around. There is nothing like falling on our faces to teach us not to make the same mistakes. By failing, we become aware of the traps that await us and are motivated to develop new skills or change our behavior. And that’s not all. The more difficulties we have had to overcome in the past, the better equipped we are to cope with future challenges. Yet, poorly managed, failure can also have a very negative impact and destroy our self-confidence.

The ability to deal effectively with failure is thus an extremely valuable self-development skill. Four recommendations in particular appear to be essential in acquiring this skill:

– Preserve yourself.

– Look at your failures lucidly – don’t try to make excuses, but don’t feel too guilty either.

– Carefully analyze what happened and draw the right conclusions so that you can do better next time.

– Find the energy you need to bounce back and move on.

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