This is Why Failure Makes You a Better Leader

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts.”

― Winston S. Churchill

I teach and coach leadership to thousands of people each year—at conferences, lunches, workshops, and in one-on-one coaching practice with leaders. And most of the time, the leaders I coach want quick fixes and perfunctory processes to achieve what they want to accomplish. Their true interest often lies in knowing how they can get to their goals more quickly and with less difficulty. But that’s not what growth is all about.

What I know from my experience as a leadership coach is that growth comes with struggle and achievement is earned through repeated failures. There’s no way to shortcut the experience that doesn’t also shortchange the outcome. The most valuable things in life aren’t the ones that come easily.

What I know from my experience as a leadership coach is that growth comes with struggle and achievement is earned through repeated failures. There’s no way to shortcut the experience that doesn’t also shortchange the outcome. The most valuable things in life aren’t the ones that come easily.

To be a truly meaningful leader you have to embrace struggle and make failure part of your success story. Here are some of the ways failure is valuable and why it’s at the heart of most success stories.

Failure teaches wisdom. Success feels good, but failure—as long as you don’t let it get the best of you—brings wisdom and growth. Leaders who have failed have a depth of understanding that can’t be obtained any other way.

Failure breeds resiliency. Nothing in life creates resiliency like struggle and failure. Persistence and resilience come from working through difficult problems and still finding the will to keep going and take chances.

Failure stretches potential. Until you’re tested, it’s hard to imagine being able to endure struggle. But failure, when it comes, can take you far beyond the limits you imagined for yourself. Every failure is an opportunity to rethink your own limits and realize how much stronger and more capable you are than you ever thought.

Failure provides opportunities. Our natural impulse is to shy away from failure—nobody wants to take on a struggle—but when you eliminate adversity, you limit your potential. Failure provides you with additional resources and preparation to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.

Failure supplies motivation. Nothing else is as motivating as struggle. I’ve seen it many times over as a coach: defeat motivates people to concentrate harder, focus better and achieve more.

Failure generates benefits. It may be hard to see when you’re feeling stuck in failure, but with the benefit of a little time and distance, you’ll be able to discover the benefits and the value of struggle. It’s a matter of looking at events through the lens of your eventual success.

Lead from within: If you pursue success, welcome failure, hold on to hope and never lose your perspective, you’ll find there is something positive in every negative experience.

 


 

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: iStock Photos


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

2 Responses to “This is Why Failure Makes You a Better Leader”

  1. Pramod Solanki ( Dr. )

    23. Oct, 2018

    Hi Lolly,
    While you do not require a certificate from me, just wanted to say that your thoughts strike a chord. What I find particularly remarkable is the fact most of the ideas appear to be based on your own experience and reflection, making them so much more grounded and practical. Keep up the good work !

    Reply to this comment
  2. ANDY

    23. Oct, 2018

    Such an inspirational piece, but I’d like to add, beat fear with failure if you never try you never know

    Reply to this comment

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