Dealing With Leadership Failures

Dealing with leadership failures


Leadership shape our organizations, communities, and nations by inspiring others to act while simultaneously directing the way that they act. A great leader can motivate to achieve a common goal in different circumstances. Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and discipline with everyone. Therefore we need good leaders to help guide us and make the essential large-scale decisions to keep the world moving. Dealing with leadership failures shapes the future of any organization.


Leadership is the ability of an individual, group, or organization to “lead”, influence or guide other individuals, teams, or an entire organization, motivating a group of people to act toward achieving a common goal. While talking about business, leadership is the capacity of a company’s leader to set and achieve challenging goals. Further leadership helps to make fast and conclusive decisions when needed. It enables organizations to outperform the competition.

Leadership Failures

“Failure is inevitable along the leader’s journey”. Failure is one of life’s greatest enablers. Nobody gets success at once or in one attempt neither a normal people nor the greatest persons whom we hear all the time. Therefore, he/she should learn how a true leader should react to every failure and set a positive example for those around them. Everyone fails at some point in his/her carrier and that happened to all successful leaders of the world like Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Walt Disney, and many others. Their ability to hold themselves accountable enabled them to keep going, become better leaders and build their legacies. If you never failed at anything, you would never be forced to take action to fix the situation or try new ways to seize opportunities previously unseen. In the end, it’s what you do with failure that defines your character as a leader.

Causes of Leadership failure

Leadership failure is primarily a behavioral issue. Leaders fail because of who they are and how they act, particularly when they are under stress and they do not recognize and act on their weaknesses and faults. Leadership failure can also have negative fallout on the potential of other members of the organization, as well as on the company’s team spirit and reputation. A company, organization, or country faces significant losses when a leader derails, and we know surprisingly little about why it happens. There are many reasons for leadership failures among which some of them are listed below:


  • Overconfidence
  • Lack of motivation
  • Failure to delegate authority
  • Having wrong expectations
  • Lack of social skills
  • Poor attitude
  • Ignoring relationship building
  • Failure to communicate a vision
  • Blindness reality
  • Failure to listen
  • Dealing with failures and mistakes


Failure is simply the chance to begin again and this time more intelligently. There is a wise saying that leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure. It depends on the person’s behavior. As leaders, we have all experienced letdowns and how we respond to them. It’s certainly harder for a person such as in a leadership position to deal with face loss after their failure. Leaders should act authentically and in an ethical manner about honesty and integrity.

How to Overcome Failures?

A leader’s behavior can be consequence or action-based. Although leaders are vulnerable to derailment factors, the deeply ingrained personality traits affect their leadership style and behaviors. Identifying and managing these factors may be possible and failure can also be prevented. Becoming a better leader for your followers or the people you lead is of supreme importance and ultimately rests on your shoulders. A leader cannot blame the shortcomings of his organization on his lack of growth as a leader. Regardless of the level of organizational support, a leader can still choose to keep practicing, learning, and improving in those capabilities, which inspire others to put and improve their best efforts.


Here are 9 strategies that are found to help overcome failures on the path to success.


Take Responsibility for your failures
No one wants to fail but it is unrealistic to think that you will never fail. Therefore, taking responsibility for a part in a failure is a chance to learn and do better or differently next time.


Take time to process a setback
You have to recognize that you will need some time to process what just happened to you after experiencing a setback. Never feel you have to rush the process because there is no set amount of time to recover from a failure.


Give yourself a break and change it up
Concentrating on your setback is only going to keep you stuck and it will be hard to rebound if you keep on continuing to stay focused on your setback. Try to do something fun, take a break from social media, go outdoors and just give your mind a rest.


Reflect with trusted colleagues and mentors
It is always a wise decision to ask a trusted mentor or colleague for their honest feedback after experiencing a failure. Good mentors will give you honest feedback, let you out, and provide the encouragement and support to help you take positive steps forward.


Create contingency plans
Always think about plans for the possible hurdles that will occur when making future decisions. Being energetic and having a contingency plan at the ready for when problems occur will help you immensely.


Determine what’s in your control
Recognize what you have under your control. If lack of knowledge or skills is a cause for your failure, do some more reading or take a course to gain additional skills to position yourself for success in the future.


Try New approaches
Be flexible and open-minded to trying new approaches. Some leaders become overly cautious and inflexible after a failure. It is always necessary to take a risk for leaders who want to succeed. Don’t isolate yourself or be fearful of making decisions, you will make more right ones than wrong ones.


Be determined and optimistic
The important thing if you are a leader is to keep a positive outlook no matter how hard this may be. If your employees and business stalls are fearful about losing their jobs, they will look to you for guidance and assurance that things will get better.


Reflect and reframe to stay on track
A leader should always keep notes and look back on them regularly. This facilitates in not making the same mistakes while moving forward.



Failure is hard for all of us but it depends on how to handle it. Further, failure makes you a better leader. This article provides an expanded view on leadership failure, offering organizations and their members possible reasons why a leader might careen off course and, more important, how to prevent these derailments in the first place. It is also a wise decision to take positive action against failure. This helps a leader to improve and is important in building momentum for success.


To conclude, Failing as a leader can be terrifying or exhilarating depending on your interpretation. If you fear failure as a leader, it will increase your stress, which can lead to inaction. Therefore, just stay positive, acknowledge that you already have the skills needed to succeed, and prepare for an adventure. Face your fears and they will automatically disappear. See failure as a step toward success not as a mistake of your life.