Jan 11th, 2022

Mentorship

Progress Is Made on the Back of Failure

Written by: Jesse LaDousa, Chief Operating Officer

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My last article before the holidays covered delegation and why it’s so important to build the next level of leaders in your company. I discussed the idea that in order to allow people to grow their own skills, you must let them take on responsibilities that could likely be done quicker and/or more accurately by you. Only by delegating these responsibilities will you give someone the opportunity to grow within their own abilities.

One of the biggest fears I hear from other leaders is centered around failure. “What if I delegate an important responsibility and that person fails? What will our customer think? What will our leadership team think?”

What I tell them every time is: Let. Them. Fail.

It’s a message as old as time, but a good one that we should revisit often. Progress only comes on the back of failure. It is impractical thinking that someone new at their role will get it right every time. I’ll go one step further and say they shouldn’t be getting it right. They should be learning, adapting, adjusting, and trying again.

Failure hurts, but it builds character and resiliency. It shows we are trying to make progress. It shows that we are using critical thinking to evaluate options vs. risks and taking a chance on what we feel could be a better way of doing things. Failure gives us an appropriate amount of humility that we can utilize to build emotional maturity.

It can be hard to wrap your head around celebrating failure, but I truly believe one of the very best things you can do for your next set of leaders is give them the latitude to fail and allow them to do it.

Then, pick them back up, dust them off and think about the next approach that could be utilized. When you’ve moved into a role in which you can mentor others, you must learn to be leader, coach, and fan at the same time.