3 Ways to Guarantee Failure

I was on the phone with one of my friends when he began to share some leadership struggles he has been facing with his employees. A few folks on his staff only knew how to fail. They weren’t able to get the job done, and he was frustrated about their work ethic, their attitude, and how they responded to the issues. He needed someone on the outside to vent and process with. I was willing to learn more as well.

As we continued talking, we shared some common insights about failure and leadership development. It’s OK to fail. We are all going to fall short at times, but how we respond to it is a different story. In our conversation, we discussed how to fail and how to avoid it. Here are 3 ways to guarantee failure and what to do differently.

1. Continue waiting.

There are times when you need to be patient and use discernment. However, if you are waiting on someone else to tell you to do your job, or for everything to be perfect, then you are guaranteed to fail. Sometimes we cripple ourselves by not moving forward because of fear or frustration. Whatever the task is in front of you, take a step; you may get knocked down, but you moved forward and learned new things. One step toward your goals is better than standing still. Stop waiting and start moving. If you just continue to wait, you will eventually get passed by those around you.

2. Make excuses for everything.

We all have friends who have excuses for everything. The timing wasn’t right, or they got caught at a red light and missed the meeting. My friend said to me in our conversation, “I would rather someone take ownership of their mistakes and be just OK at their job than someone who is awesome and makes excuses for everything.” Strive to always do your job well and take ownership of the good and bad of what you do. Kids make excuses; men take ownership.

3. Blame everyone else.

At times, you fail because of someone else’s actions, but rarely do you have zero faults. When you blame everyone else all the time, you communicate that you have it all figured out and never do anything wrong. If your first reaction is to find blame in others, then you are guaranteed to fail. Great leaders take responsibility and find solutions rather than blaming. Humble yourself by looking in the mirror rather than for everyone else’s faults.

Earn some points: Are you married? If so, share this iMOM article with your wife: 5 Reasons You Are Not a Failure.

Sound off: What would you add to this list?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you say to yourself when you mess up or fail?”