Failure is not the end of the world, although it sometimes seems that way. Especially when it comes to leadership and success. If everything we tried worked perfectly from the start, there would be no need for perseverance. It’s easy to get discouraged when something doesn’t go according to plan, and sometimes giving up seems easier than overcoming it. In fact, according to McKinsey data, between one-third and one-half of new CEOs fail within 18 months of taking office. But stumbling and falling before finally getting off the ground happens a lot more than you might think.
What will I read in this article?
- People who failed before they succeeded
- Leadership and success
- A leader does not work for himself
- Listen, then act
- First impressions matter
- Learning to delegate
People who failed before they succeeded
Before creating the Disney entertainment empire, Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lack of imagination” and his first animation company went bankrupt. However, his perseverance led him to create the iconic characters for which he is known around the world today, such as Mickey Mouse.
Something similar happened with Thomas Edison. Although he is famous for inventing the electric light bulb, Edison faced many failures before he succeeded. It’s said that he made thousands of unsuccessful attempts before creating a filament that worked properly. A famous quote is attributed to him, whether apocryphal or not, but it sums up his attitude very well: “I have not failed. I have simply found 10,000 ways that don’t work”.
Despite being one of the most influential women in the media, Oprah Winfrey got off to a rocky start. She was publicly fired from her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore for “getting too emotionally involved in her stories”. However, she managed to build a media empire and become an influential television personality.
These are just a few examples. History is full of people who initially faced failures, but managed to overcome them and achieve success in their respective fields. Their stories are inspiring and show that a bad result doesn’t have to be the end, but an opportunity to learn and grow. Especially when it comes to leadership.
Only some people are born ready for leadership and success, but we can all learn
Leadership is not something you learn overnight. In fact, most people are not prepared to manage teams or take on positions of responsibility when the opportunity arises.
However, that doesn’t mean that they cannot learn. A good leader is not the one with the strongest personality or the smartest in the group. Rather, as we discussed in this article, it’s someone who is consistent and honest, who knows how to bring out the best in others and bring the group together to pursue a common goal.
A leader does not work for himself, but for the organisation
As the McKinsey article mentions, reaching positions of power leads people to understand that there are many eyes on what they do, say and decide. But instead of asking “What legacy will I leave?”, they should ask themselves: “What organisational purpose do I serve?
A leader can be a key player at a given moment in an organisation, and the way they work, as well as the decisions they make, will mark that moment and the people with whom they collaborate. However, it’s essential to understand that your role is not only about achieving personal success, but also about working for the organisation in which you develop.
The well-being of the team and the company must always be taken into account in order to be able to make decisions with perspective. In this sense, leadership seeks to strengthen the capabilities of all team members, encouraging teamwork and mutual respect, in order to achieve the desired objectives.
Leadership and success require listening and then acting
Everyone pays attention to novelty. It is normal, it generates expectations and curiosity. They want to know what you think, what will change and what that change will mean for them. But, according to the authors, the best leaders, when they take office for the first time, know that it’s better to listen and get to know the work climate before making premature statements or moves.
Good leaders are always attentive to the needs and concerns of their team. They know that listening is crucial in order to make decisions and act accordingly. Instead of imposing their vision, they prefer to listen to their collaborators so as to create a collaborative work environment and achieve common goals more efficiently. In this way, the team feels heard and supported, and leaders can make more informed decisions that benefit the organisation and its employees.
“The best leaders, when they take office for the first time, know that it is better to listen and get to know the working climate before making premature statements or moves”
First impressions DO matter
We don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The way we present ourselves to the world can have a big impact on how others perceive us. Especially when it comes to leadership and success. When you reach a position of leadership, everyone, even those you have worked with for years, is forming their first impression of you as a leader.
It’s therefore crucial for leaders to be concerned about what first impression they want to make. They must ensure that the image they project reflects their values and objectives and that it inspires confidence in their team.
In addition, you should be aware of your body language and verbal communication, as both can contribute to a positive or negative impression on others. Not to mention that it’s closely linked to whether you motivate or discourage your team.
Leaders must learn to delegate to their team
Being a good leader is not only about making crucial decisions and leading your team to success, but also about delegating tasks appropriately. Delegating not only frees up time for other tasks, but also allows team members to feel valued.
By delegating tasks, leaders can identify and develop skills and talents in their team, which can lead to greater productivity and trust. Learning to trust the team and empowering them to make decisions and solve problems can also open up new opportunities and perspectives to reduce errors and improve working relationships.
In addition, it can prevent work overload and promote work-life balance. The position of managers on work-life balance issues sets an example for other employees.
“By delegating tasks, leaders can identify and develop skills and talents in their team, which can lead to greater productivity and confidence.
Leadership and success: Understanding how failure can build resilience and strength
Failure, while not a pleasant experience, can teach us a lot about ourselves and about life in general. The reality is that, at one time or another in life, we all fail at something. However, it is important to try to understand how those failures can make us stronger.
Leadership is not a destination, but a journey. It requires growth and development of skills that aren’t necessarily achieved overnight, so it must be undertaken with patience and commitment.