You got your ass kicked. How will you respond?

Yesterday was rough.  An inspection we had been preparing for for months went south.  And I am talking really south.  The kind of embarrassment you want to crawl in a corner for.

And yet – the buck stops with you.  You were the one in charge of the project’s success.  And when failure arises – how do you respond?

We often look to blame.  I know it was my first reaction.  I wanted to pass the failure off on the inspector being too picky and unreasonable.

And here is the thing – even if he was, how is that helpful?  How does pushing the blame off on the inspector or someone else change anything?  Does it get you more prepared for the next time?

What if, instead, we take the fall and all the blame.  What if instead of looking for a scapegoat, we take the scapegoat out of the equation and focus on what truly matters.  Changing things for the future.

Get out of the present.  Get out of shaming mode.  Stop beating yourself up without getting anything out of it.

That feeling of failure has the ability to strike deep within all of us.  And it’s a shitty feeling.  And that’s why we should avoid pushing that blame and that feeling onto anyone else.  It’s not helpful for anyone.  It drives us apart.

Instead – take that time of beating yourself up or blaming others to reflect.  Reflect on what went wrong.  Reflect on what went right.  But most of all – reflect on what you can learn.  And reflect on what you can do to avoid that type of failure the next time.

Once we have failed, our actions are all we can control.

How do you respond to failure?



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