The leader greatest fear is failure. Among my clients what prevents them from doing what they would like to is often the fear to fail and all the nasty consequences of it. To fight this fear it is necessary to change our vision of the purpose of our actions.Our purpose cannot be only success in our enterprise because one can’t be always successful. If you ask successful entrepreneurs about their experience they will always tell you about their initial failures and how they overcome them to actually go one step further and eventually succeed.Overcoming our failures is in fact accepting the idea that success is not the opposite of failure but its complement. It is indeed producing the necessary efforts to complete the task and focusing on the preparation and planning of the tasks much more than thinking about a successful outcome that can be paralyzing in the course of action. Why ? because the beauty of it is that efforts bring success more often than failure. Nothing new under the sun here. Maybe you think I’m pushing open doors and you already know that this is what needs to be done and that this is what you’re personally already doing at work. I trust this is the case, but what is your behavior with your team ? How do you deal with their failures? Do you accept failures from their part ? Should you ? My answer is definitely yes. By favoring risk taking and by focusing on the experience rather than on the outcome you may reinforce the amount of collective competencies in your team and strengthen the capacity of your human resources to deal with more and more complex challenges in the future. How can you do that ? what kind of leadership behaviors do you need to adopt to serve this ambition. My first recommendation would be to listen rather than to speak. Ask open questions that require detailed explanations and listen carefully to them. It will allow a deep analysis and understanding about what is happening. Second, when you’re with the team, get actively involved in the activity performed, don’t stay at distance giving orders and controlling execution. Third , dare to show genuine empathy rather than artificially congratulate or blame individuals. Finally , the most important is to be a role model and to recognize your own errors. This is the most difficult part but this will be recognized and will have a decisive impact on your environment.
I wish you a very good year 2015 , full of failures and of course successes.