All of the leadership team was present. They were focused and engaged in deeply strategic planning that would have huge implications for their company. The discussions were, at times, intense and thought provoking. Good questions were asked and informative data was presented. There was one thing different about this strategic meeting. The leadership team was not strategizing about a new product or process, they were talking about failure. They had failed in a venture and now they were processing that failure.
They did not deny or pretend that the failure never occurred. They did not panic or over-dramatize the event. They simply were determined to debrief the project from its conception and look at each level of responsibility. They asked the hard questions like: What did we miss? What could we have done better? Why did we not win? What are we going to do different next time?
All companies and all leaders fail. How we deal with our failure is what defines true success in our lives and in our organizations. Initially, failure stings and we need time to deal with that defeat. But, there comes a time when we have to decide to face our failure and learn so that we can grow.
This company is a highly successful international corporation with a team of leaders who are the best of the best. One of the keys to their success is how they handle failure. Choose to glean vital truth from your failures and you will make a difference.
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