How Embracing Mistakes Can Make You A Better Leader



Nov. 29 2021, Published 9:16 a.m. ET

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What comes to your mind when you think of leaders? Winners, champions, undefeated, and every other word available in the dictionary for success, isn’t it?

Well, whenever we talk about leaders, we do not consider failure as a part of their lives. What most people don’t know is that failure is one of the hallmarks of excellent leaders. a very successful leader once failed at something, in fact, a lot of things.

Being the CEO at ProofHub, I can proudly say that my failures have made me who I am today. Trust me, I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes during my career. It’s NORMAL. We’re humans, and we’re allowed to fail. Let’s not make failure a big deal.

It took me a while to understand that owning up to my failures helped me learn and grow in life more than anything else, and that’s exactly what I preach to my team.

There’s an old saying, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” I follow it religiously. I make sure that I coach and support my team members in such a way that they face adversity and setbacks without shaking their self-esteem.

Developing a positive mindset about failure and considering its benefits is an integral part of the process. Here’s how failures changed my thought process and helped me become a better leader.

I’m sure you would relate to them too.

Reality Check Ahead

I’m a firm believer that “If nothing ever fails, nothing ever improves.“ Every time you fail, you get a solid reality check. As a team, whenever we face a setback, the first thing we do is, analyze, and figure out where we actually stand and then work on the required fields accordingly.

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“Failure Is Not Failure If You Learn From It”

Here at ProofHub, we never believe in right vs. wrong. For us, It has always been right vs. learning. As a leader, I always ask my team members to change the way they think about knock-downs. Instead, please take it as a lesson, learn about the things you need to work on, and bounce back like a champ.

“Second Chances Work Out Better Than First”

I fail to understand why are the second chances considered as the ‘bad guy’? It might sound weird, but I believe in second chances more than I believe in the first ones.

In the initial days of my career, I did not get enough second chances, but I make sure my team always gets them now. That way, we can deal with the same situation again with a different approach and reach the ideal goals.

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“Focus On Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses”

Every single person on the Earth has glaring weaknesses, but nobody achieves success by focusing on them. You accomplish a lot more from working on your strengths instead of just working on your weaknesses. At ProofHub, we never spend all our time on what is not working. In fact, we focus more on what’s working and how we can make it even better.

“Take Every Risk. Drop Every Fear”

It is definitely more comfortable to sit back in a safe spot and wait for the right time to come. It’s something that distinguishes go-getters from just dreamers. As a leader, I consider it as my topmost priority to push my team to take risks. If they win, they’ll be on top of the world. If they lose, they’ll be wise and daring. Either way, they’ll grow and become more confident.

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“This Too Shall Pass”

I’ll be very honest here. Regardless of all those pep talks and motivational TEDx videos, nobody likes it when they fail. Yes, I understand it gets quite tough to accept it. Been there, done that. Whenever my employees come up to me being disheartened about their setbacks, I only tell them one thing; life is not a short sprint; it’s a long marathon. The quicker they accept their failures, the faster they can use it as a lesson to move on.

To Wrap Up!

Failure is never a good feeling. Nevertheless, trying to avoid failure always is no better. As a team leader, you need to be comfortable with things not going your way all the time. More than that, you should own up to your failures. Look at them as learning opportunities and elucidate the same to your team. This will help you learn more about your team, prompt your company’s success, and ultimately help you become a fantastic leader.

This post was written by Sandeep Kashyap and originated on Thrive Global.

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