What do you do when you fail? 

Everyone fails. Perhaps you’ve just had a major failure in your life: a relationship, a business investment, a moral error. We all fail. We understand that, but what do you do when you fail?

Do you pass the buck? Do you accept it? Are you caught up in the drama of it all or do you own it and move forward, having learned an important lesson along the way?

Not accepting responsibility for our failures dooms our leadership capacity. 

No one likes people that are constantly playing the blame game. Do you know these people? Do you have them in your life? Are they in your church, family, neighborhood, your children’s sports team? Our guess is that you know at least a few of them. That’s fine, but here’s the real question: are you one of them?

How do you handle failure? 

Edison failed thousands of times while he was inventing the light bulb (played out illustration, we know). But where would we be without that failure? Your parents failed multiple times before you were born (don’t look into this too much). Here’s the thing: you are here, and that is a miracle.

The ability to handle failure is what separates leaders from the rest of the crowd. 

If you are unable to accept responsibility, then your employers, bosses, friends, and everyone else around you will notice it. You will be passed up over and over when it comes to new opportunities.

But failure also breeds loyalty. 

Or better yet, accepting failure and its ensuing responsibility is what breeds brand loyalty. Think about your favorite products, stores, restaurant, etc … No doubt that you have had bad experiences with them. But the bigger piece of that picture, especially after you’ve had a bad meal, is that they’ve owned their mistake and have done everything they can in order to make things right.

Good leaders own their mistakes AND make things right.

Here is where we separate the big boys from the wannabes. The players know that they need to own it, address it immediately, and then correct their mistake for all parties involved. The wannabes admit it at best, and then attempt to sweep it under the rug.

Don’t be a wannabe. Be a player. 

You’re a leader. You have an audience. You make mistakes time and time again. You’re human. Understand that what will define you is your ability to rise above. So rise above in your acceptance of the consequences, whatever it may be. Seek to resolve situations as amicably as possible. Know that the path to loyalty lies within an organizations ability to handle conflict and move forward together in resolution.

If you can do this, you’re on the right path. If you’re stuck, figure your stuff out. If you need help, we’ve got your back.