Fail Well for Success

You’ve often heard the phrase, “Failure is not an option.” The truth is failure does happen and it does happen often. Particularly to people that who take risks, people that focus on expanding their opportunities, implementing bigger ideas, and following their own paths, not paths designed by others.

We’ve all done our best to avoid failure or minimize it – yet, it shows up over and over. Our inability or unwillingness to address these life lessons makes it harder for us to succeed. Every achievement has a story of what didn’t work behind it – unfortunately, media doesn’t often share those struggles and what was learned during the process.

As business leaders, it’s important to learn how to handle mistakes and learn from them. Trying to cover them up, deny they happened, blame others, or allow our confidence to wane are not good choices. There’s no magical way to deal with or get past failure. Each person needs to work through their challenges one day at a time.

Why do failures hang around? There are failures that simply happen (e.g., the economy) and failures we could have prevented (e.g., implementing quality control procedures). We’ve created stories to minimize their impact or excuses to justify why they happened. Emotionally we hang onto the sadness, guilt and negativity, while failing to forgive ourselves and forgive others. Often, we continue to indulge in bad habits or stay in situations that are not healthy. The key is to recognize a potential problem and resolve it proactively.

How can we learn from failure faster? Hire a trusted advisor who can help you clarify what worked and what didn’t work. Take time to acknowledge that things didn’t work out as expected. Many times the actual outcome does not match up with our perceptions of “what should have happened.”

How do we fail well for success?

  • Write down your thoughts and feelings when the incident(s) happens. Don’t share your private journal with anyone. The act of writing can be cathartic when you simply express your thoughts on paper without concerns for grammar, punctuation, and word choices.
  • Walk it out. It’s hard to be depressed when you’re in action.
  • Talk it out with a few select confidants – don’t go it alone. Be clear these conversations are not designed as pity sessions. Their purpose is to help you develop compassion and wisdom from your lesson(s) learned.Remember, there will be more opportunities to fail and succeed – life gives you lemons or lemonade – it’s your choice to work through the challenges or succumb when mistakes happen! The key is to fail well so that you’re not repeating the same life lessons.

 

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and facilitator for over 20 years; she guides the creation of new solutions for business challenges. Learn more about these and other successful leadership techniques by visiting her blogs posts on: http://SeibCo.com and get your copy of, “5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Results (and Enjoy Being a Leader Again)” http://ow.ly/ysgYQ

Want to achieve your 2014 goals? It requires commitment.

Setting goals for the new year can be exciting—it’s a time for creating new opportunities. For many, it’s also the time to put aside failed results from last year’s goals. But in about thirty days, our 2014 goals will lack their initial luster too, and we will struggle to stay in focused action.  Why is it so hard to stay on track? Various internal and external business factors may be the culprit. But it’s more likely that we have simply failed to develop the muscles and mindsets to manage the design, planning, implementation, and fine-tuning required of any project.

Follow-through isn’t just a problem for individuals. Organizations struggle with it too. Although many companies create annual goals, few effectively manage the process required to achieve them. It’s a challenge that many business professionals face every year with their employers, or as business owners themselves.

Here are some suggestions that can help you stay focused and continue to chip away at your goals until they’re met:

Be Realistic. Hire a business advisor who can help you blast through your reticence when you get stuck or want to make things too hard. An advisor can also help you create realistic goals and focused action plans, offer tactics and strategies for reaching them, and help you see your progress.  An advisor will encourage you to talk with your co-workers, clients, and boss to share your goals and plans. Be open to others’ insights and recommendations.  They will help you streamline your efforts and avoid lots of effort with little payoff.

Divide Work into Small Chunks. Set up quarterly goals. The immediacy of short-term goals can make all the difference in getting and staying in focused action.  Many people plan for the entire year, but a year can be a long time, and a lot can happen in 12 months to take us off track. Shorter-term goals will also help alleviate detractors, commonly known as the “shiny objects syndrome.”

Celebrate Progress. Too often we focus on what isn’t working and fail to see what we have achieved. Take time daily to recognize your accomplishments and use those successes as motivation to achieve your larger goal.  Appreciate when you have taken responsibility for honoring your commitments to yourself and your company, no matter how small of a step it appears to be to you. It’s one step closer.   Get your copy of 5 Simply Steps to Improve Your Results: http://seibco.com/books/eguides/5-simple-steps-to-improve-your-results/

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2014

When company changes so do you

The right attitude and action is required during company mergers and sales.

Changes in company business structures can quickly eliminate the need for your job, or you! They may reduce your job responsibilities so that you are no longer part of the core team—most employers don’t need two people doing the same job. If your position is eliminated, the key is to be available and open to sharing your knowledge and experience. Be helpful and provide the training required to the person who will take over your responsibilities. Why? Your positive attitude can change the company’s plans to eliminate you! It may alternatively motivate your boss to provide a glowing reference to your next employer or a valued introduction to your next boss. Have your brag statements ready to share in any interview, formal or otherwise, to let others know how you can be an invaluable resource. (http://TimeToBrag.com)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Laser coaching requires you to stop managing

Effective bosses know that everybody has their own learning style. Instead of telling your employees how to get the job done, provide assistance that is focused on a quality process and an intentional end result. As a manager, take time to listen, ask the right questions, and use qualified assessments to become a laser-focused coach with the ability to guide your team and provide the necessary adjustments. Encourage your employees to interact with one another, other teams, and their clients to develop new processes and systems to achieve the required end results:  satisfied customers and a positive return on investment. (http://SeibCo.com/assessments)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

CEOs achieve their goals easier

Hiring a coach is a wonderful gift to give to your executives, even when they don’t believe in the value a qualified coach can provide them! It’s a gift that keeps on giving! Hiring an outside business advisor or executive coach can help you achieve your goals easier and with less effort while improving results. Remember, most executive management team members are focused on driving the enterprise’s financial and strategic performance. They are not coaches and don’t have the interest or expertise to be one.

If you are the recipient of the gift of coaching, learn how to be coachable and be open to hearing what you don’t know or new ways to be successful in this ever-changing global market. If a coach is mandated because of your poor performance, ineffective people skills, or failure to achieve intended results, listen carefully and take action faithfully—otherwise, the next step may be termination. (http://SeibCo.com/contact)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Are you ready for an executive coach?

  • Is it a challenge to get projects accomplished with and through others?
  • Do you vow to find a job that doesn’t require working with anyone?
  • Do you and your boss butt heads with the end result based on who has the strongest willpower?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you need an executive coach immediately. There is still time to achieve your 2013 goals, if you are willing to do so. Urgency is the key! Bad habits can be easily redirected if caught early enough. A qualified coach can help you do what you don’t want to do so you can achieve positive results. Don’t wait! Your job may depend upon it!

A good executive coach:

  • Provides on-the-spot insight and options
  • Helps you overcome your blind spots
  • Provides constructive feedback and appropriate praise
  • Asks the right questions to help you develop the right course of action
  • Provides options for how-to work with and through others

 Contact Jeannette today @ http://SeibCo.com/contact

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Peaks and Valleys

Every business has it peaks and valleys. Instead of fighting against it, welcome them! The valleys allow you time to get in touch with the innovative ideas that can come as big waves or skim quietly across your mind.  Your mind-set is crucial to ensuring you don’t quickly dismiss an idea without discussing it with others, or grab on to “the next best thing” too quickly without proper review. Stay focused on your company’s primary stream of income and run a parallel system with your new business idea.  Stay focused on quarterly milestones to ensure both sets of plans are on track and that weekly-focused action plans are being implemented.  For additional help, contact http://SeibCo.com/contact

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Culture is the fall guy

Why do so many executives fail in new jobs? While many blame company culture, I would suggest that culture is the scapegoat. Poor cultural fit simply amplifies or points out what the C-suite or board members on the hiring committee failed to uncover during the vetting or onboarding process!

Instead of blaming culture, management teams should take the time to think through and write out a strategic hiring process that works, and design it to ensure that each party explores and investigates the other. They should use qualified systems and tools, trust the process, and follow it. Remember, more conversations will be required when hiring an executive to ensure consistency of philosophy and provide deeper exploration of issues and potential solutions. If you follow a well-designed system and use it in the spirit in which it was intended, you will know that you’ve done your best to ensure a positive partnership—even though there are never any guarantees. Excerpt from Companies and Executives Need to Vet and Onboard Each Other! http://SeibCo.com/books/eguides   

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Is your ethical compass spinning?

When ethical issues get overlooked during the design and implementation of a project, everyone blames somebody else. It’s very easy to succumb to the strongest advocate’s point of view that ethical issues won’t matter. But the problems created by lies or by dismissing the truth won’t resolve themselves. As the leader, you need to guide your team on how to proceed. Make it easy for your employees and peers to bring these types of concerns to your attention—discovering ethical issues down the road usually makes them more costly, if not impossible, to fix. Don’t shoot the messenger! Don’t blame the informer for someone else’s theft or violation of company policy. Is your ethical compass still spinning? Now is the time to call a highly experienced business advisor, someone who can confidentially bring clarity on how to resolve ethical issues. Remember, ethical doesn’t always mean easy!  http://SeibCo.com/contact

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

How do you handle the company bully?

People can be difficult to converse with when they are being bullies constantly in search of special favors. As an executive, you don’t have the luxury of avoiding them. However, you can minimize and structure your interactions to be effective. First, listen to their request. Don’t dismiss it simply based on who’s asking. Second, ask what the return on investment is. Third, have them put it in writing. Fourth, make a decision that works best for the company. For additional insights on how to handle difficult interactions, get your copy of Most Discussions Require More Than 140 Characters! http://seibco.com/books/eguides/

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013