The value of failure in leadership
|Leadership, 😇 Organizational Behavior, 💣 Work Ethic, 🙋♂️ Management, 👩💼 Human Resources
Table of Contents
Famously, most people doing well in the corporate world today have at least failed once, twice or a number of times before they eventually became successful and popularly renowned. Perfect examples of such personalities are, though not limited to Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. The individuals above failed a couple of times and some of them were greatly discouraged, but they never gave up in the hope that one day they would emerge victoriously. Self-belief and determination act as the driving force that enables individuals to dream on and achieve their set goals and objectives despite failing along the way. Therefore, it is apparent that failure has a value in leadership as will be discussed in this essay.
Ways Failure Can Be used in Vision Improvement
First, failure gives us the chance to know our mistakes and the ineffective decisions we made that resulted in us not accomplishing what we had projected to attain. Thus, in my life, one of the primary ways through which I can use failure in my career and improve my vision as a leader is learning to make the right decisions and weighing various options before settling on the one that proves to be the best and attainable (Meng et al. 2014). In other words, given the fact that failure will enable me to sit back and reflect on what I did wrong before trying again, it would help me improve in the sense that I will know what to do and what not to do when I decide to do something. Second, I can use failure in finding out my weaknesses and strengths. That is to say; failure acts as a mirror that reflects my weak areas that need improvement and strengths that I can perfect to be better as a way of developing my vision as a leader.
Key Traits and Characteristics Possessed by Transformational Leaders
Principally, transformational leaders are essential in any given organization because they are able to accommodate subordinate staff who are the backbone of an institution. Such leaders work closely with employees in identifying what need to be done in an organization with the aim of achieving a competitive edge and thriving in the business world (Piccolo and Colquitt 2012). Furthermore, transformational leaders possess key traits that enable them work efficiently and provide quality services to customers.
The major qualities being, though not confined to, creative and critical thinking, smart decision making, adaptive to change and new ideas, self-motivated and goal oriented, proactive and visionary (Cameron et al. 2014). Moreover, the other traits that are considered of importance and are possessed by transformational leaders are strong interpersonal capabilities, inspiration and ability to check one’s ego.
Moreover, in regards to impacts on employees’ behavior and performance about transformational leader’s response to failure is that if his response is a positive one, there is a high possibility that they will behave positively and also register incredible performance (Nixon et al. 2012). On the other hand, if leaders respond negatively and do not embrace failure, then there is a likelihood that the performance of the staff will be low and their behavior towards the organization will not be one to be proud of.
Next, the reason as to why I am of this perspective is because most people tend to copy their leaders and somewhat act as they do. Therefore, there is a need for leaders to be accommodative of failure and encourage their employees not to be unmotivated whenever they fail in their ventures.
Personal perspective on Failure
Furthermore, much as failure in most cases makes us stronger and more determined, I do not believe that it is the integral part that develops leadership effectiveness. The reason being, it is not a must for a person to fail in order to succeed or be a great leader. For example, it is not a must that one performs poorly in tests so as to register good grades in subsequent examinations. The second example is in the case of surgeons. They do not have to fail in their surgical operations for them to be experts.
Best Practices for Leaders to Follow
- Decision making – the interviewee makes very hard decisions on a daily basis that are accommodative of everyone, systematic and executable.
- Leading by example – he is a good leader and portrays well-developed leadership skills that those being led are proud of following.
- Rewarding and motivating employees – the leader ensures that he motivates his workers on a regular basis and rewards those who perform incredibly well.
- Challenging people to be thinkers – as learned during the interview, the leader I interviewed challenges his workers to think on new and existing ways through which they can achieve organizational goals.
- Making workers feel accommodated – given that employees in an organization come from distinct and diverse cultures and are of varying personalities, the leader ensures that no one is left feeling out. Thus, he promotes organizational culture.
Effects of Experiences with Failure and Leadership on Decision Making
Notably, people who have failed before tend to take risks more as compared to those who have never failed before (Yukl, 2012). Thus, when it comes to risk taking, failure affects it positively since such leaders are not afraid of failing. The reason as to why I am of this point of view is because people who have failed in their life are aware that it prepares them for everything that entails to leadership. This prompts them to try over and over again until they gain what they have and become reputable leaders.
- Cameron, K. S., Quinn, R. E., DeGraff, J., & Thakor, A. V. (2014). Competing values leadership. Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Meng, J., Berger, B. K., Gower, K. K., & Heyman, W. C. (2012). A test of excellent leadership in public relations: Key qualities, valuable sources, and distinctive leadership perceptions. Journal of Public Relations Research, 24(1), 18-36.
- Nixon, P., Harrington, M., & Parker, D. (2012). Leadership performance is significant to project success or failure: a critical analysis. International Journal of productivity and performance management, 61(2), 204-216.
- Piccolo, R. F., & Colquitt, J. A. (2012). Transformational leadership and job behaviors: The mediating role of core job characteristics. Academy of Management Journal, 49(2), 327-340.
- Yukl, G. (2012). Effective leadership behavior: What we know and what questions need more attention. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 26(4), 66-85.