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Leadership Development, NSLS Blog

Why Leaders Embrace Failure

As President of The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), Charles Knippen heads a diverse team and nurtures an environment where "failure" is not a bad word. On the contrary, in a new article published by CEOWORLD magazine, Knippen advises that we look at our failures not as a defeat but as opportunities to learn, grow, and do better.

Embracing failure is not an easy proposition when we've put time into a project or the pursuit of a goal, only to come up short. However, there are benefits such as gained experience, insights, and evaluation that better prepare us to try again, or pursue future endeavors more successfully.

One of the important steps to turning failure into good fortune is accountability. Knippen reflects on his own personal story to drive this point home. 

"As a young manager, I remember my failure to lead and motivate people. I thought I was doing great, and our outcomes were off the chart. However, it wasn't until one of my direct reports came to me and said, ‘Charles, I'm the only one with the nerve to tell you this – but everyone is scared of you.’”

This moment allowed Knippen to make changes in how he went forward professionally. He opted to take that information and shift to a difference in his management style. Today, he incorporates "more empathy, patience, and less intensity" in his day-to-day communication with team members. His personal growth in this experience and developing into a servant leader—a leadership style similar to transformational leadership—are examples of how we can flourish when we take ownership of our behaviors, words, and actions.

Failure allows us to learn from our mistakes. In essence, we have the choice to react and respond when things don't go as planned. As Knippen states, "When we fail, we can decide to say either, ‘I knew I shouldn't have tried anyway’ or ‘I will try harder next time.’ Your response to your failures will dictate your outcomes."

Read more at CEOWORLD.