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Failure is something that most leaders are going to face in their careers. There are right and wrong ways to address these issues. Leaders need to be able to address their own shortcomings in order to be able to successfully change their failure into success.

Defining Failure in General

Failure, in it’s most basic sense, is attempting to do something with an unsuccessful result. It could be failing to start a business. It could be a Forex trade that results in a loss. It could be asking someone out and then getting rejected as a result. Failure is perceived to be negative against the individual undertaking the task. Many individuals seem to seek to reduce the number of failures that they have on their record. We all hate having failures and being reduced to a series of bad events. Failures can plague even the most optimistic of individuals. Have enough of them and a person can wind up going down a dark path. For some of these people, they never return from that path.

Defining Failure in Business Sense

Failing in a business sense is similar to the general idea of failure. It could be a product launch failure. It could be a failure to undertake a successful merger with another business or organization. Businesses can experience failures in marketing, hiring an employee, or any number of other tasks that pertain to keeping the business growing or at least stable for the near term. To explain this further, some individuals can wind up seeing their businesses close after running that company for a period of time. Entrepreneurs sometimes engage in a churn and burn type scenario where they have to churn through a series of businesses until they find a successful combination of marketing and products that work for the market.

Defining Failure in a Departmental Sense

Departments can experience failures as well. It could be focused upon reducing churn rate or a project that was handed to them. Departments want to reduce the number of failures that they have because that would help encourage and facilitate the business’ growth. A single department failure can tarnish the organization’s reputation, thus making it harder for the organization to stay afloat if it cannot retain a customer base. Departmental failures could also be a failure to address a problem that another department has that they have been tasked to solve. Things like this can create problems rather than solve them.

What Cause Leaders To Fail?

There are a lot of different causes that lead to leadership failure. Some of them include:

  • Failure to communicate
    • Communication failures could be a failure to provide a crucial bit of information on a project.
      • Things like this can make it harder to complete projects on time.
  • Failure to address a problem that arises with their staff
    • Not address staff issues just invalidate your staff.
    • Creates unhealthy relationships within your department or organization.
    • Individuals will wind up quitting as a result.
  • Failure to address budget issues
    • Not preparing in advance can make it harder to grow or carry out tasks.
  • Failure to address training issues
    • Staff training is important.
    • Not addressing training issues allows incompetencies to continue.
  • Failure to create a plan and gather input on the plan
    • We all know the expression.
    • Planning is essential and it can greatly help you to move forward.
    • Gaining inputs can make it easier to be able to see where flaws are.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that can contribute to a leader failing and failing their staff. It is easy to see how the staff below can latch onto this and then repeat the same behaviors. As a result, there are further issues in the future that arise since individuals within that department cannot take responsibility for their actions and want to continually pass the buck.

Failure is Inevitable

For leaders to be able to succeed, they have to learn that failure is a part of life. It is better to fail than not to fail. Failure should be a learning experience and a chance to help progress forward. The sooner that leaders can understand that avoiding failure is just like avoiding old age will help them to address the issues head-on. It is important that you learn that you can use failure to your advantage (especially if you are a leader).

How To Overcome Failure

There are a few ways to overcome failure:

  • See it as a learning opportunity
    • You are not learning if you are not failing. You simply learn better ways to do things in the future.
  • Document the steps are taken that lead to the failure and find ways to work with the steps
    • Documenting what happened can help you better processes in the future.
    • Better processes in the future make it easier to carry out certain tasks in the future.
  • Reframe your mind
    • If you reframe your mindset, you can kill those inner demons.
    • Those inner demons can easily rob your peace and then cause you to make bad decisions in the future.
  • Take ownership
    • Taking ownership helps your staff to take ownership.
    • When your staff takes ownership, they can use that information to invest in better ways of doing things.


In conclusion, there are a lot of ways to overcome a failure. There are a lot of benefits to being able to use these opportunities to your advantage and grow your followership.