For the most part, I see myself as pretty positive, seeing the good in everyone and everything. My sister would tell you that I’m the type of guy that would fall into a pile of manure only to get up and ask where the pony was. But like many of you, there are times disappoint sets in…you know the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by our hopes, desires, or expectations falling short, or not being fulfilled at all.
As leaders, we typically need to deal with out own personal disappointment along with that of our team that may be going through the exact identical emotions. If allowed to go unchecked, disappointment can lead one down a very dark hole. In order to avoid such an abyss I offer the following for your consideration:
- Admit it! Things simply did not go your way…PERIOD. This is probably one of the harder things to do, as one would rather place the blame on someone or something else, which actually MAY be the reason, but it is, what it is, and the outcome did not meet your expectations.
- Feel it! Of course it hurts…it feels as though you were “sucker punched” in the stomach, it makes you feel as though you failed, or brings into question your own abilities. Share those feelings with a trusted friend…let it GO…spew your venom, talk it through…it’s ok to be angry…as long as you’re controlling your anger and it doesn’t consume and control you.
- Own it! As a leader, the buck stops here! As the leader, we assume the ultimate responsibility so when the gun of accountability for disappointing results points toward the team; great leaders step in front and “take the bullet” as they should.
- LEARN FROM IT! This perhaps is the most important strategy. Ask yourself, “What did I LEARN from all this?” Failure to LEARN is an opportunity missed ensuring the possibility of simply repeating history down the road.
- Move through it! I saw a magnet once that read, “When you’re going through hell, keep moving!” Regroup, free your mind, look at various options, think differently, seek advice, there are a number of options available…the only option not recommended is to do nothing…keep moving…forward!
Here’s some good news…we all learn from your disappointments and failures; the truth is:
- If you lead, you WILL fail!
- When you fail, you WILL face disappointment.
- Disappointment WILL test you.
- When you pass the test, you WILL be a stronger leader.
Now…where’s that pony???
Be good to yourself