Are you willing to learn? Before you answer, let me know which applies to you.
Picture this. You have spent weeks planning for your open house and are excited for people to come and see your new business! As the time approaches, you realize the invitations say the wrong date! With this in mind, you quickly send out messages to let people know it is today and not next week. However, considering the last-minute invites, only a few could make it work and attend. You take a deep breath and are thankful that a few showed up and take this as a learning experience and reminder that double checking your work is a must!
Spiralling out of control.
Let’s take the same scenario, and in this case, instead of looking at what you learned from this, you begin a downward spiral. You have done this before and you beat yourself up over it because you didn’t learn the first time and how could you do that again! Why don’t you ever learn, you think to yourself!
The difference between these 2 reactions lies on the inside. Those who see losses as lessons learned possess a spirit of humility versus those who may be prideful and unwilling to allow failures teach them anything.
“Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.” Ezra Taft Benson
Humbleness brings out the best
As leaders, I believe humbleness allows us to be our best and serve others best. Humility will create the ability to make changes, the ability to hold on to values and the ability to model grace even in winning. Here are 3 things that humility helps us do as we go from good to best as leaders:
Humility Helps us Learn
Humility allows us to possess a true perspective of ourselves and life, because when we focus on ourselves, we lose perspective according to John C Maxwell. Having humility allows us to see the big picture, it opens our eyes and broadens our view.
“Humility does not mean you think less of yourself, but that you think of yourself less.” – Ken Blanchard
When finding oneself in error, or in the middle of a loss, ask these questions to help find the core truths to be learned:
a. What went wrong?
b. When did it go wrong?
c. Why did it go wrong?
d. How did I contribute to making it go wrong?
e. What can I learn from this experience?
f. How will I apply what I’ve learned in the future?
Humility Allows Us to Let Go of Perfection and Keep Trying
We do not need to be perfect to be successful and the sooner we realize that the better. Our ability to move past failures can lead us to more success than we ever imagined – if we only see our failures as opportunities for growth.
Coca-Cola: created from failure
John Pemberton, was a pharmacist trying to develop a new remedy for a client to relieve exhaustion, aid nerves and soothe headaches. He was happy with his product but then his assistant accidentally added soda water to it and the rest is history. Pemberton was not too proud to admit that what hos assistant created tasted much better and by doing so, he decided to sell it as a drink instead of medicine. That is humility.
Humility Allows Us to Make the Most Out of Our Mistakes
When we are humble, we are open to seeing failures as possible successes. History shows us countless examples of mistakes that we now cannot imagine living without: Goodyear Tires, Cellophane, Penicillin, Posit-it Notes – all became products we love to use, out of mistakes they made when trying to create something completely different. By bringing the right spirit your work, we can turn mistakes into opportunities at any given moment.
“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” J.M Barrie
The Big Picture
Generally speaking, we all fall short of what we would like to do. But as shown above, we can look at the big picture to see what we have actually done and learn from it, which can actually increase the odds of our success! If you are doing your best, that is all that matters and making the best of failures can often lead to beautiful endings.
If you want to continue studying how losses can be lessons learned and how they can help you move forward in your business, join us for our 4 week masterclass called Sometimes you win, Sometimes you learn. Online and in person options apply.