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Effectively Fail

As if there was ever a such thing as effectively failing. Well. Actually. There is.

Effective leaders will experience unsuccessful outcomes. It is ok. It is inevitable if the leader is putting forth every effort. Everything will not always go right and expecting anything different is unrealistic. The key is finding the lesson, digesting it and applying it moving forward.

One of my most embarrassing moments as a younger leader included me presenting my first data driven results on how to strategically change my department’s production level. I remember staying up late some nights to come up with the strategy. The day came to present and my VP politely told me my numbers were all wrong. Completely. I felt like a huge failure. Like a great leader, she helped me fix my calculations and thus a new outcome. I could have gotten upset with her or disputed her claims. I did not. Later that night and a few weeks following, I reflected on where I could went wrong. The number one mistake was trying to pull the strategy together by myself. I did not get a second eye on the process or ask someone with data analytics background to help. I assumed I knew what I was doing. I knew I was never the sharpest at statistics. From that point on, I never make a big decision without feedback, input or review. That includes from my team, management, or customers.

What a lesson.

Mistakes. Oversights. Undesirable outcomes will happen, but effective leaders continue to lead and continue to do so understanding the value in the outcome. When you’re leading, remember you may not always get the result you want, but pushing forward and learning is key. Integrating that lesson is key. How have you led when the outcome was not your plan?

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