Posted in Books, Inspirational Stuff, Management, Personal Development

How Does A Leader Handle Failure?

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Discussions related to Leadership are always  interesting . Other day had a discussion with a friend of mine about the IPL matches,  the way KKR lost , the levels of frustration of SRK about his team, the way he tweeted about them. Alas! He should have behaved in a matured manner.  Subsequently this discussion lead to the  aspect of “Handling Failure”. We  discussed several incidents read in books, news papers and other real life incidents. That discussion made me think and research about that issue further.

My Observations on this aspect are compiled in this post.  I personally feel, Handling Failure with Grace , Courage , Taking the ownership for the task , Not losing faith in team members, Motivating the team members for upcoming tasks are the quite essential qualities of a Leader. If he/she does not possess these basic and essential qualities a person is not eligible to be a Leader.

  • Handling Failure With Grace: World watches the Leaders. It is essential for the Leaders to accept the failure with grace. They should not sulk, become angry, cry like immature kids. They need to accept the failure with grace and dignity. As Oprah said “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness.”
  • Taking The Ownership: Obviously Leaders lead the teams and they alone do not do the entire task. They have a team, team members . Those team members work as per the instructions of the Leader. However, things get interesting when a project or task or event is a failure.  Real Leaders take the ownership for the failure. They do not behave with “I don’t know how the hell this has happened”  attitude.  Do check this lecture of Dr Kalam on Leadership and its quite interesting to know about the wonderful Leadership of Mr Satish Dhawan
  • Not Losing Faith In Team members: A Leader should not or does not behave like a Khadoos Mother In Law who bugs her daughter in law for the failures and every damn thing on Earth. A Leader does not disown the team members or orphan them in the times of failure. Interestingly some so-called leaders do not leave any chance to bug the team members along with the external world. Real Leaders tell to the world about the good skills and capabilities of his/her team members . They do not make fun  or mockery of the team members.
  • Motivating The Team Members For Upcoming Tasks: A Leader is the first and quickest person  who is capable of coming out of the shock of failure. He or She is bothered to allocate minimal time for the mourning period of failure.  Apart from coming out of the shock of failure, the leader motivates the team members. Leader inspires the team to accept the further challenges, further projects with confidence, enthusiasm and hope. Basically a Leader is a HOPE AMBASSADOR for the team. He fuels the hope in team whenever it is necessary and during the times of failure leader works 24 X 7 in filling the Hope among his/ her team members.

I feel a Leader should posses these above mentioned qualities . A real test for a Leader is his/her reaction in the times of failure. A Leader looks at a failure as an opportunity for improvement. After all each one of us is a Leader for our project called LIFE.  We need to Lead our life in a responsible manner. Moreover, We need to behave in much more responsible manner when we fail. Taking clue from the above qualities of leader and if we try to apply those to our project called Life and assuming our OWNSELF as the Project Leader of the LIFE Project and our attitude, strengths, fears, shortfalls, skills as TEAM MEMBERS  we can conclude:

  • One should Handle Failures in their Life with GRACE.
  • One should take the ownership for the wrong things or right things done by them in their Life. They need to be bold enough to take the ownership of their life and their deeds, actions and their consequences instead of complaining on third person or external factor.
  • One should accept oneself in all the times. One should not deny their own self. The beauty of Life is achieving the things while accepting , being aware of our current state.
  • One should motivate oneself all the times, particularly in the times of failure. One should not demotivate oneself by feeding all the negative thoughts. As said by Robin Sharma, our mind is like a garden, we are need to behave like a responsible gardener who is very careful about all the plants and trees in his garden and who does not encourage any weeds in the garden. Weeds are the poisonous and negative thoughts which we unknowingly entertain and grow. These weeds consume the energy and make the mind bitter place. So it is necessary to have proper control on our mind and nourish good thoughts. This aspect gains much more importance in the times of failure particularly when the world does not bother to have confidence in you.

Hope you enjoyed reading this 🙂


Prasanna Rayaprolu



A fearless Czarina and Shameless optimist who lives life by her own rules

One thought on “How Does A Leader Handle Failure?

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