Stepping Stone Failures

Stepping Stone Failures

Learning to Lead Yourself so You Can Lead Others

Any great leader will tell you they’ve failed many times in their life. The difference between them and mediocre managers is that they kept on going. They didn’t wallow in self-pity or allow it to affect their decision-making. I know from direct experience that failures are just stepping stones.

My first company was a success at first, but over time things started to go wrong. We were carrying too much overhead and our employee compensation packages were too generous. I used this experience to launch a new enterprise, Environmental Safety Incorporated. Our annual sales figures are consistently over seven figures.

The point is you can’t let failure prevent you from trying again. It should be a learning experience, not an end point. I’ve found there are three key areas where we need to improve ourselves before we can lead others successfully. I discuss these below.

One Foot out the Door

We’ve all worked with someone that seems to have one foot out the door. They’re constantly seeking out that next great opportunity and seem to have little regard for the position they already have. The best way to find great opportunities is too throw yourself into your work enthusiastically. If you do, you’ll be surprised how much your hard work will pay off. It won’t be long before those opportunities follow.

Just Rewards

The reality is, very few people feel like they’re being paid what they’re worth so there’s no point in telling everyone about it. They probably feel the same way! If you don’t think your boss praises you enough, or pays you enough, work harder. Become the top earner at your company and the accolades will eventually come. You’ll also feel better about yourself, since you’re no longer constantly griping about a perceived slight.

They Just Don’t Understand Me

The last thing I want to talk about is the “they just don’t understand me philosophy”. You’d be surprised. Your coworkers may actually know you better than you know yourself. Instead of worrying about why people don’t understand you, try to do a better job of empathizing with and understanding the perspective of those around you. You’ll be much happier if you take this approach.

It’s not easy taking a hard look at ourselves. No one wants to admit his or her own failings. Successful leaders learn how to do it though and that’s why they stand out in a crowd. Use life’s failures as your stepping stones of knowledge.


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