DateJune 20, 2018
EVERYBODY makes mistakes. I sit with business owners every month and hear about the mistakes they’ve made. Some are quickly repairable and others are what we would consider an “Epic Fail” costing millions of dollars, their credibility, and even marriages. We are all just one bad decision away from seriously impacting our lives and the lives of those around us in a negative way. Here is what you should do when dealing with an epic fail and how to avoid ever having one.
What To Do When You Have An Epic Fail
Own it. Whatever the reason is, once you know you did not get the results you expected and the problem is yours – own it. No complaining or trying to lessen the pain by pointing out the failure of others – own it. As leaders, the buck stops with us and not the system, process or people underneath us – we own it.
Fix it. Be honest about the effects of your mistake and communicate with transparency so the problem can be mitigated. Don’t make things worse by trying to avoid the pain and dancing around the issues. Put all your cards on the table so everyone knows the current status and can make plans to fix things. This also encourages your team to be accountable for their mistakes and they will be more willing to take chances in the future knowing you will work with them if they make a mistake too. Besides, nothing can be as bad as YOUR epic fail, so what have they got to lose? 🙂
Learn from it. Quotes about dealing with an epic fail:
“Lessons learned are like bridges burned, you only need to cross them but once.”
“If we don’t learn from our mistakes we are bound to repeat them.”
“Never waste a perfectly good mistake.”
Decide in your heart this will never happen again, set up rules and a structure to keep this from ever happening again, and tell others what you learned so they can avoid the same problem.
Move on from it. The cool part about making a mistake is that it was a mistake. Things did not work out as you had hoped but you still have hope for the future, so get going and see what’s next. Start by forgiving yourself and anyone else that comes up on your radar as part of the problem. Remember you may be your harshest critic and the rest of the world may not see this as an epic fail but just a pot-hole on the road of life. We have been forgiven of so much already so just add this to the pile and move on.
In my life, I have learned that GOD is in control and He causes all things to work together for the good of those who love GOD; to those who are called according to His purpose. So even when I make crazy mistakes, He can still make something beautiful out of it. We should also note Apple’s Steve Jobs had a few epic fails along the journey, and some of the coolest things like WD40, bubble wrap, Post-it Notes, and even the pacemaker are a result of a mistake made. You are in good company my friend.
Avoiding An Epic Fail
Slow Down. Hindsight is 20/20 but we can improve our vision by seeing things from other people’s perspective. Before you run down the road on your journey, take time to get input from others by letting your team (or family) know where you are going. This allows them to help anticipate issues and bring the best ideas to create a plan that will work. If this is not your nature, set up rules and teams that require you to stop and get input to avoid problems.
Ask Questions. Without wise counsel we are more likely to make mistakes. Don’t be too proud to ask questions, it’s not a sign of weakness. The best leaders are often quoted as having hired people who are smarter than themselves. You have great people around you so listen to them and avoid problems down the road.
Stay Focused. Multi-tasking is often a way of doing a lot of things poorly at the same time. You are the leader so it’s up to you to delegate enough that you are able to stay focused on the most important issues and get it done.
Be Slow to speak, quick to listen, quick to forgive. I’ve seen way too many epic fails in life because I was not slow to speak, quick to listen and quick to forgive. Build the habit of thinking before you speak, understand all the issues, and give grace to others as needed. Remember, your next epic fail may be just around the corner and you will want people to treat you the same way.
Dealing with an epic fail is just one of the reasons business owners and CEO’s join our Peer to Peer Advisory Groups. Surrounding yourself with experienced leaders who can help you see things from a different perspective, speak truth into your life, and warn you of danger ahead, can help you avoid an epic fail.
If this sounds like something you would value email me at RobertH@REFdallas.com or call me at (469) 269-5148 to set up a meeting for next week.
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