Over the last 48 years of living and 25 years of leading I have had my share of failures. I have tried things that did not work out, attempted new ideas that bombed, and pushed a direction only to discover it was a dead end. Leaders will always experience failures. In fact, if you have not failed at anything you are probably not leading anything. But here is the key - Failure is not final.

Failure is the partner of success. They work together. You really can't have one without the other. No one is immune to failure. There is no known cure for it. But you don't have to just endure it ... you can learn from it. Failure can become one of the greatest teachers.

Someone once said, "Failure is the womb of success." It is an incubator to that one great idea or dream. Don't let a personal or professional failure keep you locked in the prison of what you have done, but allow God to unlock your potential by handling failure the right way.

So, what do you do when failure shows up?

  1. Take responsibility. Own what you need to own. Was there something that you did that contributed to the failure?

  2. Reject blame. Take blame yourself for unseeable outcomes. You don't know everything. Some failures come because life changes too quick.

  3. Learn something. What lesson can you learn? There is always something to learn in every experience we face.

  4. Find a new way. Be a problem solver. Discover a new way to build, attack or achieve what you are trying to accomplish. Don't let failure stop you.

The worst thing you can do when failure shows up is hide. Get in the open. Be more visible. Stare failure in the face because failure is not final. Step into your new season and next direction. Never forget that when you fail it's simply the First Attempt In Learning.

That failure may have been God's way to send you on a new journey. Smile. Enjoy the ride. You are just getting started!


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