When a team fails – what is my reaction? What am I doing to help them succeed next time?

Personally, I don’t like to fail even though I realize that it is a requirement on the road to success. I’ve read the books, listened to the consultants and watched the videos – we learn from our failures. But it still doesn’t feel good. When one of our teams fail, it hard to stop myself from jumping in to diagnose what went wrong – what mistake was made that caused failure? Or to turn my back on them, because I want to distance myself from the failure. Yet, I should know better – when a team fails, it’s possible that it was a result of one bad decision, but more likely it’s from a series of small mistakes or misjudgments. And the team usually feels disappointed, confused (unless they know why they failed) and have a tendency to point at each other or to environmental factors as the cause for it. As a leader, that when I need to set aside my personal reaction to failure and help them analyze the failure in a constructive, learning-oriented process. So even though I don’t like failure, I’m convinced that we can learn from the worst failures and if handled properly, come back stronger and smarter the next time.

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