If at first you don’t succeed don’t try again, at least don’t try again the same exact way.
Each successive try should be done differently so that in trying you’re growing, learning and sharpening your leadership. In time you’ll get it right and be wiser for the efforts.
It’s hard to learn when you’re not challenging yourselves to fail differently.
Let me ask you a question. What do you think of when you think of the disciple Peter?
- He tried to walk on water and sank
- Jesus asked him to pray for a few hours and he fell asleep
- He rebuked Jesus for talking about dying and Jesus told him, “Get behind me Satan”
- He wasn’t going to let Jesus wash his feet and Jesus said, “Whoa you don’t understand!”
- He impulsively chopped the ear off of the soldier who was arresting Jesus
- Or perhaps his biggest failure, he denied knowing Jesus not just once but three times
There’s more written about Peter than any other disciple and it’s amusing that Scripture is not shy about recording his failures. But Peter didn’t let his failures stop him, he evidently knew how to fail successfully.
Don’t let your failures stop you. Sometimes the difference between living a great life for God and living in mediocrity is how we handle our failures.
None of us like to fail but all of us do. So if failure is inevitable then we must make the most of the opportunity and add to our leadership wisdom by asking the right questions. Here are a few to start with…
- Was it a planning problem? There are times we fail because our thinking was incomplete from the beginning and we didn’t have a well thought out plan
- Was it a system problem? We use systems and processes in everything we do. An ineffective system can complicate execution and keep us from accomplishing the results we desire.
- Was it a communication problem? If we’ve failed to communicate clearly and people don’t understand what’s expected of them then our execution will fail even if we have a great plan.
- Was it a focus problem? Too often we have competing priorities and as a result key projects fail because we’re trying to do too many things at one time.
- Was it a personnel problem? A major part of our role as leaders is to get people operating in their strengths. Many times projects fail because we have the wrong people doing the wrong things.
Then there is that final question we have to ask after every failure: If I had the chance to do it all over what would I do differently?
What would you add to this list?