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How leaders overcome failure

How should we use failure as a driving force at work? Check out this actionable insights!

Fuckup Nights
April 11, 2019
How leaders overcome failure | Fuckup Nights

Old-school companies are dead…

Nah, not really, but new generations are starting to add value to them by cheerleading new ways to drive a team. Leaders are increasingly being recognized as key players, rising and driving teams towards “success”.

The workforce is searching for true moral leaders defined by their actions and consistency, not by their job titles.

In our opinion, leaders have two main characteristics: they truly listen, and they lead by example. A powerful starting point is to have leaders show the way, so that early adopters can help create  critical mass for a community with new beliefs and habits.

Failure is, and always will be unavoidable, universal, and unexpected. Leaders must know how to face it, and most importantly, how to encourage and inspire despite it.

So, how should leaders use failure as a driving force?

Failure proves to be a great tool for allowing deeper connections and creating insights, because it breaks the paradigms of traditional hierarchy. So, leaders should also see it as a great opportunity to move forward, teach valuable lessons, and open insightful conversations among a team.

A Fuckup Nights speaker falling on stag

The Fuckup Nights format is one way we’ve found to have a big impact, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only one. We have facilitated hundreds of private events for companies around the world because they see a lot of value in bringing outsiders that represent the culture they want to move towards.

People who lead by example.

Facilitating sessions to make them personal, fun, laid-back, and straightforward allows us to create a special vibe that recognizes and controls ego. This focus caters to the biggest need of many companies: changing their cultures. You don’t change a culture by decree. The culture is why, what, and how people do things on a day to day basis.

From those experiences and the knowledge we’ve gathered from speakers at our Private events, here’s some advice to leaders out there:

How to implement a positive culture towards failure?

The only way to lead is by example and being a facilitator. Setting the example means being vulnerable, and showing team members that you too can get yourself into the nitty-gritty, fuck up, and not put failures under the rug – and instead learn from them.

Being a facilitator means switching gears from the old-school idea of enlightened and invincible leader that always knows what to do, to that of an inclusive leader that listens, truly empowers, and fosters learning instead of blaming.

Vulnerability in a leader makes everything from conversations to projects more transparent, fun and innovative also helps a lot.

How to change the mindset towards failure?

We believe that cultural and behavioral changes need to come both from the bottom-up and by structural design – everywhere from a political institution, to a company, to a social group.

We created Fuckup Nights as a continuous event series because we know that you don’t change your behaviors by attending one event or listening to one talk, we need to turn the new actions into habits. Also, we decided not to focus on famous or “successful” speakers because we strive for inclusivity and building communities.

Be vulnerable and let others show vulnerability too.

Leaders and the pressure not to fail. Can we avoid failure?

If your definition is negative and it’s hard for you to control how you react to difficulties, you should try to avoid failure as it will bring hardship and pain -just be conscious about the valuable lessons you’ll be missing!

Our take at Fuckup Nights is to minimize social expectations, and focus on how we react to difficult situations. It is this practice that ultimately builds up resiliency and brings us closer to happiness and freedom.

This is why creating spaces to share stories of failure has become so impactful for our global movement: people gain perspective, learn, build resiliency, and build deeper connections.

Long story short: A leader should get rid of all paradigms, always question the why of the why, and lead by example striving to be a servant leader.

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How leaders overcome failure


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