Here are a couple more points to add to my blog post, from the last month, where I started sharing lessons from my recent business failure. I am following here the same process I teach at my workshops, where my clients learn how to extract lessons from direct experience to make them part of their mastery. I […]
As a human development expert, I have been studying failure and its impact on leaders for the last several years. Still, when it comes to my leadership, I notice I share a weakness with many of my clients: I hate to fail. I would do anything possible to avoid failure, including procrastinating when I don’t […]
An image of a zigzag bridge works for over-achievers and extreme doers among my leadership coaching clients. Sometimes, adverse external events slow us down, but we do not need a crisis to remind us about the world around us and our impact. Stopping on a zigzag bridge would do. And very often it changes everything…
Learning from failure is the best way to learn – direct experience makes a powerful impact. Strong emotions make it memorable. Pain helps to remember not to repeat the same mistake. And when I find strength to get over my emotions and to think rationally about what happened – I get to see the failure as just another experience, a part of my story, but not as a part of me. As I continue mastering the skill of learning from my mistakes, I often wonder what would happen at our workplace if leaders start to accept failure and learn from it? What would be the impact of such an approach to learning?
Couple of months back my former colleague invited me for lunch. She got a promotion and was going to Europe for several years. She was excited and scared, and knowing that I spent last 8 years of my career on expatriate assignments, she wanted some advice.
My friend is not alone at her scary place. Many professional women have high expectations of themselves and a very low tolerance for failure. When I talk to successful female executives most of them are convinced that their dedication to excellence and high standards are the main reasons for success. And yet these could also be among the key reasons female professionals turn down promotions and go through enormous stress when taking challenging assignments. At the same time I know from my personal experience that, when done right, an international assignment can really accelerate your progress as a leader – nothing else could compare with its impact on learning and maturity.