Give Yourself Grace and Space to Fail

One of the key elements in growing and becoming a great leader is to give yourself grace and the space to fail, screw up and get it wrong.  Being in a position of leadership creates the pressure that we always must know the answer, get things right, and have a plan perfectly execute.

The reality of life and leadership is that we do not always get things right. I have spoken to many leaders who seem to understand this fact, but when it actually happens, they become disappointed in and hard on themselves. Many times, leaders do not give themselves space and grace to fail.

In the time leading up to the Ultimate Immersion Experience, our planning team was hard at work crafting a once in a lifetime itinerary, filled with adventures, challenges, and experiences all designed to push attendees out of their comfort zone and grow in their leadership.  These were designed very intentionally and with certain desired outcomes in mind. I shared my excitement for these events/experiences and my visions on how these would play out with our planning team.

I am very hard on myself, and many times set expectations where I overreach, overshoot, or over expect things to happen.  As we were planning this experience, the planning team (consisting of my wife, Emily, our Marketing and Events Manager, Danielle, and my Executive Assistant, Frances) all reminded me of this and asked me to be okay with giving myself and our team space and grace to fail.

At first, I was reluctant to answer ‘yes’ to this.  But when I finally did, I realized a few things.

First, I remembered it is okay to fail! Failure will happen, things will not always go as planned, and when this happens there are adjustments to make and lessons to be learned. Failure is necessary for growth.

Second, I was more relaxed during the experience.  I removed the pressure of things needing to go perfectly.  When I did this, it opened my eyes to see where I could take advantage of opportunities as they arose during the experience. In fact, a few things did not go as planned, yet opened the door for other opportunities that turned out to be amazing.

Check out this blog titled: “How to Lead When Things Don’t Go As Planned” to see what I mean.

Third, it allowed me to get out of my own way and not be so hard on myself.  I realized that many times, when a failure occurs, I am the one who is the hardest on myself.

Last but not least, failure will make you better the next time.  As you learn from your failures and evaluate what can be better and go better next time, you will show up a better version of yourself.  Without failure you cannot improve.

As we executed on the Ultimate Immersion Experience, many things played out as we expected them to, a couple things did not play out the way we planned, and a few things did not happen at all!  The most fun part was to see the experiences that were created that happened organically and were not planned at all.

Overall, the experience was a great success, but it became so through some small failures along the way.

Remember 3 things:

I love you.

I believe in you.

You’ve got this.

Now, go get it!