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The Price of Trying

by Adam Zack — April 19, 2017

Adam Zack

Be proud of your accomplishments

I harp seemingly incessantly about trying new things. New products, services, personnel relations, advertising methods, blah, blah, blah. And while I’ll go to my grave believing the only constant in the grocery industry is change, very little has been mentioned about how to cope with the results of failed attempted change. I used to work with this know-it-all blowhard that attacked every change I made to the organization. No matter what it was, it was a bad idea that he could do better. Turned out he just had an inferiority complex, but it still resulted in many struggles and battles that were counterproductive at best. Like all wars, there were battles won and lost. Not being a very good loser – actually just hating to lose, not being a bad loser – it affected me personally when one of my new programs failed. I was asked why it bothered me so much. Why did I take every defeat like it was the end of the war? It was business, right? And in the course of business there are dozens of setbacks every single week. The strong leader learns from them and moves forward. But still, that’s the easier said than done part because when we are fully invested in our company, in our project, in our team, every failure to the caring leader is personal. It’s a decision you made that was wrong. It was choices you made that you could have done better. It was communication and preparation that, had they been done differently, may have resulted in success. It’s hard – extremely hard – not to take failure personally. It can easily drag you into an abyss where it’s dark and murky and you feel like you can’t get out. I’m not here to tell you to not take it personally. I’m here to tell you that failure sucks, but it’s a very valuable learning tool and your successes greatly outnumber the epic fails, so reflect on that for a minute, be proud of what you’ve accomplished and get back to making decisions, taking risks and leading your people. It’s not that you’ve failed; it’s how you deal with it.

Read More – Reasons to Believe

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