Tag: Failure

What Failure Can Teach You About Leadership

As a leader, failure likely seems like the scariest thing to happen to you. Nobody enjoys failing but when you fail as a leader it hits harder than usual. This is probably due to the fact that you’re leading a team of people, and you may feel as if you’re letting them down. The thing is, failure is often necessary in life, whether you’re a leader or not. Failure teaches us valuable lessons about ourselves and our roles, and allows us to move forward with new insight which can ultimately shape our career and our future as a human being. No matter how hard you try, failure is ultimately inevitable and it’s important to understand what you can learn from it. Here are a few things failure can teach you about being a leader.

Don’t Get Complacent

When you’re succeeding as a leader and your business is doing well, it can be easy to put autopilot on and go with the flow. Why would you want to take a risk when things are going so well? The truth of the matter is that your complacency can be your downfall, and stop your business from ever truly growing. In this situation, a failure of some sort will end up being a slap in the face and help you realize that complacency isn’t always good. While risks can result in failure as well, they are all ultimately learning experiences, and you’re better off having that experience than letting things ride out as they are.

Appreciate Your Role

When you fail as a leader, you ultimately begin to open your eyes to what it is you do and how you make a difference not only in your business but for your team as well. This can help you get a better understanding of what your role is in the company and the difference you make everyday, which can ultimately make you want to become a more effective leader. Your team and your business rely on you to make the right decisions and realizing that will allow you to have a deeper appreciation for your role as a leader as well as the other leaders you work with in and out of work.

There’s Almost Always A Second Chance

One of the most important things you’ll learn about failing as a leader is that failure doesn’t mean it’s the end. Second chances are all around you, and you even if you fail doesn’t mean things are over. Understanding that you have a second chance will allow you to look at situations and opportunities in a new light and ultimately lead you to seizing success with those new opportunities.

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

It is rare for anyone to be an overnight success. While some may believe these are nothing more than empty words said to make another feel better about their shortcomings, it actually is a good lesson in perseverance. One only need look as far as many of the products they own or see advertised today. Below are three people who started at zero and through hard work became successful entrepreneurs.


Vera Wang

Vera Wang is a big name in the fashion industry today. Before the beautiful wedding dresses, however, she was a figure skater. When she failed to make the Olympic team, she dropped it and tried to break out in the writing industry with Vogue. She attempted to become an editor-in-chief but was ultimately turned down for the position. Afterward, she turned her attention to the fashion world. Now, no one can look at a wedding magazine without seeing several of her stunning dresses.


Arianna Huffington

Articles on Huffington Post are shared daily on social media sites, earning thousands of hits. The creator of the site, Arianna Huffington, wasn’t always so successful. Before launching the site, she wrote books. The second book she authored was rejected a whopping 36 times from different publishers. When Huffington Post was born, it was originally criticized for its poor quality. Today, it is one of the most visited sites on the web and continues to release more content.


Milton Hershey

Hershey’s chocolate is a staple in every holiday treat. However, in the beginning, Milton Hershey wasn’t so well-received. In fact, he tried to start up three different candy companies before the one everyone knows and loves, and all three ultimately failed. It wasn’t until several years later that he created a formula that was a hit, first with primarily caramels, and then Hershey’s.


It is rare for anyone to get everything right their first try. Many people, even those who are now some of the biggest names in the world, got it wrong time and time again. Whether, like Huffington and Hershey, they knew what they wanted to do at the end of the day, or, like Wang, they dabbled here and there until they found their niche, it took a large amount of skill, patience, and most of all, dedication.