What Every Leader Should Learn From The Presidential Candidates Failures

“Let no one deceive himself. If any of you thinks he is wise in this age, he should become a fool, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”… 1 Corinthians 3:18-20

Written by Ken Gosnell – Reblogged from C12 Group

Never before in Presidential history has the two Presidential candidates failures and mistakes been so talked about and discussed. Many people might withdrawal and become disengaged as they see the candidates slinging mud at each other.

However, a wise leader will learn a few valuable lessons from looking at the Presidential Candidates failures. Henry Ford aptly reminds us that, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time, more intelligently.” Leaders should pay close attention to how the two people who are fighting for the most important leadership position in the world.

What Great Leaders Can Learn From the Failures of the Presidential Candidates:

1. The failures of the Presidential Candidates teach leaders that anyone can overcome mistakes.

One key lesson to learn from this political season is that failures can be defeated. Both candidates are flawed, and both have made many mistakes. Too many leaders allow their mistakes and failures to derail their leadership. Many leaders often believe that their mistakes have to define or they allow their mistakes to define who they are and what they can do.

Here is a fundamental truth, every mistake or failure can be overcome.

Coaching Question: What has been the biggest mistake that you have made in your life and how have you overcome it?

2. The failures of the Presidential Candidates remind leaders that no leader is perfect.

Here is an important truth that every leader needs to embrace. Every leader has leadership baggage. What determines a leader’s success is not their great decisions, it is how they overcome their lousy decisions. The real test of leadership is, does a leader learn from their mistakes? Another critical test is, does a leader take responsibility for their bad decisions and choices or do they blame someone else? Every wise leader knows themselves, and they walk with humility because they know of their failures and mistakes.

Coaching Question: Do you followers see you as a bold but humble leader?

3. The failures of the Presidential Candidates encourage leaders to avoid mistakes as much as possible in their leadership.

Wise leaders learn from the mistakes of others so that they don’t have to make those same mistakes. All leaders are tempted by the same potholes of leadership. Leaders are often tempted to lie, blame, cheat or take advantage of their position. There are no new leadership temptations under the sun. Wise leaders prepare themselves on how to handle leadership temptations. One essential way for preparation is to pay attention to the mistakes of others and avoid those same mistakes. Bill Gates states, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failures.”

Coaching Question: What mistake have you avoided because you watched someone else make that mistake?

4. The failures of the Presidential Candidates allow leaders to learn how to recover from setbacks and failures.

Failures and mistakes are a core component of leadership. Recovery of failures and setbacks are a more critical component of leadership. These two presidential candidates have learned how to persevere through failures. A simple plan for failure recovery that I recommend is

1. Apologize for the mistake or failure. You can read another article I wrote entitled, “When Leaders Have to Say They Are Sorry.”

2. Admit to yourself and others why the failure happened.

3. Allow others the opportunity to tell you how your failure impacted them.

4. Attack a new battle so that you do not get stuck in your mistake.

Coaching Question: Have you ever developed a leadership recovery plan? Do you know how you would recover from failure?

Failures and mistakes are uncomfortable. They are not easy to discuss, and they we often try to avoid them in every aspect. In this political season, the mistakes and failures of the Presidential Candidates are in front view of us all. The wise leader will not check out, but rather use their failures as a check up. Every leader can learn from the failures and mistakes of the Presidential Candidates.



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