Everyone strives to be successful – until they realize it’s overrated. People are often all too focused on the positive results, while ignoring the main catalyst in achievement: failure. You may think that the success of others is easy or instant, but it actually comes after failing over and over again.
The truth? Failure only makes you stronger. It allows you to learn valuable information about your character and performance so that you can improve for future ventures. To reach the top, one always has to stumble a few times beforehand. It is inevitable. Avoiding failure would simply be giving into fear.
The greatest part of failure is that you can always get back up again. You have the power to overcome failure at any time by continuing to try harder. Show resiliency by using it to your benefit and making the best out of the situation.
Of course, you can’t be optimistic all the time. Sometimes, failure hurts. But you learn an important lesson on what not to do, which is why failure is helpful for turning you into a better leader. Let’s take a look at the six ways failure actually improves your leadership abilities.
- Failure Reshapes Your Mindset
One way or another, failure demands that you look at the choices you’re making and requires you to think outside the box in order for you to not repeat the same mistakes. It forces you to take a step back from your focus and think, What did I do wrong? How can I take better steps in the future?
While the original perception of yourself and your success might be shattered, failure allows you to analyze the exact process of your failed attempts from different viewpoints. Initially, you could’ve believed that your actions were the only way to do something correctly and that there was no alternative plan for success.
Failure is then a wakeup call to be more open-minded for new ideas or different methods that result in better success. This hyper-awareness of your self-examination creates a mindset where you no longer settle for uninspired and mediocre. Instead, as a leader, you want only the best.
- It Gives You Free Life Lessons
Nearly every additional form of education comes at a price, but life lessons are given for free. Fortunately, failure is one of those life lessons, and it can often show up throughout your life. Failure highlights weaknesses of a person, and when a leader can view this as an opportunity for positive change, they evolve into a more developed, constructive, and contemplative manager.
“It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure,” says former SEO of Microsoft Bill Gates
- You Become More Appreciative
When you’re handed everything to you on a silver platter, it can be difficult to have a sense of accomplishment or self-worth. You don’t experience the same challenges as others, and you wouldn’t understand the amount of effort needed to create such successes for yourself. If you never had to work for anything and still expected it all to come your way, why would you be appreciative?
However, struggles do more than just keep people grounded–they also keep them thankful. The actions you take, no matter how much failure is involved, will ensure value and meaning in your life. You’ll put forth effort and show passion in what you do, which means you’ll care no matter how dismal the outcome is sometimes. Leadership demands that you are grateful and care for yourself and the people around you. As a leader, you may already have gratitude, but failure is there to bring awareness to it.
- Failure Eliminates Your Comfort Zone
Not only will failure have you thinking outside the box, but it will also take you far outside your comfort zone. After you’ve analyzed the poor choice of actions you’ve made in the past that led to failure, this step requires you to move on and continue your journey–just with a better plan.
You’ll have to be aware of your decision-making process and how well you adapt to new situations. Since your flexibility is likely to grow in this way, as a leader, you would be able to respect and connect with new environments, alternative leadership methods, opposing views, and others’ beliefs. Sometimes, failure is simply a reminder that you have to be content with adjustment periods.
“Nobody likes to fail at what they do, but everyone can be surprised by what they are able to accomplish once they move past their failure,” says editor at Ukbestessays, Irena Grand. “Sometimes, the best thing for a person is to have them fail and grow beyond what feels comfortable.”
- It Strengthens Your Empathy and Humility
Take solace in the fact that you are only human. Every leader at one point in time has experienced failure, so you are not alone. In fact, it is failure that affects how you change positively as a person. Imagine being stagnant throughout your life, without failure to offer contrast to your worldview. It’s pretty limiting–and definitely not leadership material.
Even more so, failure places emphasis on your human limitations and helps you sharpen your emotional intelligence. You’ll begin to empathize with the people around you in regards to their own failed circumstances and human limitations. Additionally, you will understand the importance of being humble and selfless so that you can lead by example with a serving attitude. People want leaders who use their head and their heart, as well as those who have fallible qualities that are relatable.
- You Learn Acceptance
Eventually, you will see that there are many aspects of your life where things could go wrong. When the unexpected occurs and you would normally become disappointed, you have the opportunity to change your reaction. Do you accept the uncontrollable and defeating circumstances, or do you accept them and move on? Learning to accept life’s small and large failures not only contributes to your overall quality of life, but it also further develops your acceptance for failures that happen directly under your leadership.
Failure in Leadership: An Overview
Although people typically view failure as a catastrophic event, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, especially when it results in the development of stronger leadership skills. Since successful people rarely make it to the top easily, it’s best to embrace the challenging journey ahead of you that involves failure.
Taking risks, empathizing with others, and maintaining an appreciative attitude are all vital traits for good leadership. And when failure does come your way, you’ll be able to pick yourself back up with confidence and power–true marks of a leader everyone aspires to be.