Failure is a reality of life for all of us. None of us achieve what we want all the time. Expert leaders do not have less failure than entry-level leaders. Expert leaders simply have a better-built “Failure Factory.”

This Failure Factory is not the production line; failure is a given in life and is produced just by being alive. This is a processing factory and everyone has one. Failure goes in, we choose how to respond or react to it (the processing part inside the Factory), and our leadership effectiveness is strongly impacted by what comes out the other end: how we are fundamentally changed (for good or ill) by the failure.

Expert leaders positively influence people and situations to create value and growth. This means they are able to remain positive even when failure is fed in. They are able to still influence others and opportunities, despite the failure. They have the uncanny ability to be valuable and grow even when failure is present. How?

Expert leaders have developed the ability to…

  • Recognize and be okay with the fact that they are flawed. They are very self-aware.
  • View failure as temporary. They have their sights set on the long-term.
  • Actively seek out learning lessons by asking why did this happen, not just how did this happen. They look for meaning.
  • Laugh at themselves. They take their job seriously, but not themselves.
  • Fail, learn, adjust, risk again, fail, learn, adjust, risk again, fail, and so on.

Take a good look at your Failure Factory. You can drastically improve your ability to create value and growth by improving the inner workings of your Factory.

Rhett Laubach is a professional speaker, author, leadership expert and founder/operator of YourNextSpeaker, LLC in Edmond, OK. For 15 years, Rhett has presented interactive, educational programs, in 35 states, to more than 500,000 individuals. He also coaches hundreds of individuals to develop their communication skills. To learn more visit, PLI Blog:, & Speaking Blog:

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