That’s not a scare headline, it’s a fact of life. It’s not the finding of some new study either. It’s been true as long as we’ve had managers. Managers fail because they’re people and people fail. That means you and everyone on your team. No exceptions. Here’s what you can do to live with that fact.
Work to minimize the frequency of your failures. Develop habits, processes, checklists, and systems that will help you get more things right more often.
Work to minimize the impact of your failures. Plan well. Try things out. Early, inexpensive failures can often save you from more expensive failures later.
Pay special attention to activities that could sink your ship if they go wrong. W. L. Gore calls these “below the waterline” actions “that could cause serious damage to the long-term success or reputation of our Enterprise.”
When you fail, fix things quickly. The situation can go from bad to worse, unless you step in to stop it.
Learn from your failures. There are lessons lurking in every failure. Learn them and apply them as needed.
Find the opportunity in the failure. Often a failure will alert you to a new opportunity. The Stoics had it right. The obstacle becomes the way.
Managers are human beings. We all fail.
Work to minimize the frequency of your failures.
Work to minimize the impact of your failures.
Pay special attention to activities that could sink your ship if they go wrong.
When you fail, fix things quickly.
Learn from your failures.
Find the opportunity in the failure.
This is a wonderful reminder for all managers. I would also add that we should own our failures and not try to hide our mistakes. Our credibility as leaders depends greatly on how we handle our failures.
Thanks for the kind words and your excellent addition.