Learning to Fail: A Leadership Reality to Embrace in 2017
Let’s face it, we live in a new world. It is comprised of new ways (see: snaps and live videos) to communicate, a variety of generations meshed together, and one that’s overloaded with info and moving at warp speed. I know this title may raise some eyebrows as to what I am getting at. But the fact is simple. We must learn to fail. Now let me explain.
I did not say we should be satisfied with failure but we must always be learning from it. Each day in your organization there are failures, mistakes, and oversights. The question is not if they occur it is what we learn from them. So, do you fail and learn from it? Do you get better from them? Do you have an organization that encourages people to try new things — even if it means failing?
Failures, when handled correctly, in an organizational culture that encourages growth (which comes with risk) are comfortable with sharing such info across the organization. Thus, such occurrences are not told to be embarrassing but are shared so everyone can get better as they are learning experiences. Think of it this way. It is likely that if a “failure is not openly shared” it will happen again somewhere else in your organization. Right? And how dumb would that be? Real dumb. Yet, we do it all the time.
In printing services and related companies, I see common themes in my consulting and coaching work. Let me share some and see if you can relate. I see sales and other staff that are aging and not producing at levels required for 2017 (and not being held accountable). I see people (at all levels) resistant to new ideas or change and slowing down progress. I see people who are unsure of where they want the company to go or what direction to head. I see people who cannot articulate why their organization or brand is unique. I see people who view marketing as one person’s job function instead of a companywide strategy. I see people who know they need to change and do strategic planning (setting a vision) but are unable to ever find a time (and sometimes this is for years) to get the help they need. I see people who are still trying to sell in ways that are irrelevant in 2017. I see organizations trying to shift from years of being manufacturing focused to being sales and marketing focused ... and many have no clue where to start. Note: these are quite doable but not easy.
Common issues that need to be addressed in most organizations include: Leadership growth, marketing strategy, new sales development, brand differentiation, talent assessment (of current team), strategic planning and change initiatives. I see these day in and day out. Do you?
So, what do you do in a new year. I took some time off from writing/blogging to ponder this post. You must admit you embrace failure and need to get better. Example: If you are average you should desire to become good. If you are good you should want to become really good. If you are really good you should seek to become great. And if you are great you should work harder than ever to maintain your edge as things WILL CHANGE and people will be on your heels. There is no such thing as complacency. See Kmart, Blockbuster, and Radio Shack. Second, you must fully commit to making the changes you want to make — even when you are busy and when they are tough. Like my Garmin on my wrist: the journey of 10,000 steps each day begins with the first.
So, I challenge you to come on a journey with me and learn how to fail. Hey, let me admit to you that I fail all the time. But, that’s okay because I am not afraid to try new things and grow. And I learn from each failure and get better. Now, how about you? Do you want to change and grow in any of these areas? If so, are you serious about it (priority to you) or is it just something (that kind of sounds interesting) for your (to do) list. If you are in the first group, this is what I am looking for. Thus, I am going to offer the first executive — or higher level individuals who reply to this email or call me — free consulting time. Yes, I said free. I will give you my best ideas free. Why? This is what 2017 is all about. But, I can guarantee you, once we talk, wow ... Human to Human (H2H) talking ... you will (if serious about learning to fail) want to go deeper.
Are you ready to embrace 2017 with me? Let’s attack failure (done right) together. Email me directly at Ryan@RyanSauers.com or call (678) 825-2049.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com