3 Ways a Good Leader Can Learn from (and leverage) Failure

“If you learn from defeat you haven’t really lost.” – Zig Ziglar

3 Ways a Good Leader Can Learn from (and leverage) Failure

Everyone fails. Let’s just get that out in the open. There isn’t a person on earth who hasn’t failed at one thing or another. The important part is what happens next – whether you move on and “learn from defeat” as Zig Ziglar says, or if you give up. Don’t fall into the latter category; instead be a good leader, follow the three R’s: Reflect, Rethink and Repurpose, and come up with a new way of doing things so that you don’t fail in the same way again.


1) Reflect on what happened.

Spend some time thinking about your failure. Ruminate on the following question: what went wrong? In some cases, there might be an obvious flaw in your plan, while in others, the problem might take some time to figure out. The reflection stage may take a while, as you don’t want to rush to a conclusion. That might be what caused your failure in the first place!


2) Rethink your strategy.

Once you’ve determined what went wrong, you can come at the problem, issue, or plan from an entirely new angle. Again, take some time to determine the best strategy to move forward with. You may have to drastically change your plans, or simply adjust one part of the process. This is also a good time to ask for advice or run your ideas past someone else and have them weigh in. An additional perspective may help quite a bit.


3) Repurpose your ideas and actions in a different way.

Now is the time to take what you have learned from the previous steps, and try again. Don’t be afraid to keep repeating this as many times as it takes to get it right. As long as you view each one as an educational opportunity, you’ll never feel as though you’ve failed.


These three R’s are designed to help you, a good leader, make the most of your failure. As long as you’re willing to keep moving forward, you’ll be successful in the end.

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