9 Ways Successful Leaders Overcome Failures

We all experience setbacks or obstacles in our personal and business lives, however it’s what we learn from our setbacks and failures that really propels us forward. 

While some leaders have the stamina and resilience to just pick up the pieces and move on after a failure, others find it very difficult to let go. Either way, the key to moving forward after a set back is to learn from what the adversity taught you about yourself and consciously apply that lesson to future situations. 

Here are 9 strategies that I have found helpful in overcoming set backs and failures on the path to success. 

1. Take Responsibility for your failures.
No one wants to fail but thinking that you will never fail is unrealistic. Taking responsibility for your part in a failure is an opportunity to learn and do better or different next time.

2. Take time to process a setback.
After experiencing a setback, recognize that you will need some time to process what just happened to you. There is no set amount of time to recover from a failure so don’t feel you have to rush the process. 

3.Give yourself a break and change it up.
Obsessing over your setback is only going to keep you stuck. Try to do something fun, go outdoors, take a break from social media and just give your mind a rest. It’s hard to rebound if you continue to stay focused on your setback.

4. Reflect with trusted colleagues and mentors.
When you’ve experienced a failure, ask a trusted colleague or mentor for their honest feedback. Good mentors will give you candid feedback, let you vent and provide the support and encouragement to help you take positive steps forward. 

5. Create contingency plans.
When making future decisions, think about the possible hurdles that will occur and plan for them. Being pro-active and having a contingency plan at the ready for when problems occur will help you immensely.

6. Determine what’s in your control.
Think about what you have under your own control. If you failed due to a lack of knowledge or skills, take a course or do some more reading to gain additional skills to position yourself for success in the future.

7. Try New approaches.
Be flexible and open-minded to trying new approaches. Some leaders become inflexible and overly cautious after a failure. Taking risks is necessary for leaders who want to succeed. Don’t insulate yourself or be fearful of making decisions, you will make more right ones than wrong ones.  

8. Be determined and optimistic.
Be sure to keep a positive outlook no matter how hard this may be. This is especially important if you are a leader. If your business stalls and your employees are fearful about losing their jobs, they will look to you for guidance and assurance that things will get better. 

9. Reframe and Reflect to stay on track.
I’ve coached numerous business leaders who keep notes and look back on them regularly as a way of keeping themselves on track so as not to repeat the same mistakes going forward. 

While setbacks and obstacles can derail us, they also are opportunities to look at a problem from a new perspective. Failures force us to learn and build confidence in our abilities and judgment. Many professional and personal break-throughs have been achieved after a failure has occurred. Persevering through setbacks will help you – and your organization – to continue to grow and prosper.

If you need assistance to move forward from a recent setback in your business or career, Jennifer Grant International can help you. Call us today for a courtesy consult.

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