“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”Winston Churchill
It is the 2nd half of the Dallas Cowboys game vs. the New York Giants. We have just lost Dak Prescott to a season-ending injury in the 3rd quarter. Ezekiel Elliot just isn’t gaining the rushing yards that he is capable of achieving. There is a 75% chance the Cowboys will lose this game.
As I think about the second half of this year, I reflect on the Cowboys game when Dak Prescott was injured. I asked myself, what things did I do to cause a fall back in my leadership? The areas I determined I had failed in include;
- Made poor decisions
- Spoke when I shouldn’t have
- Didn’t change my bad habits
I could have made wiser decisions. I did not have to speak everything in my mind, and I didn’t change poor habits that probably contributed to my leadership fall.
Leadership failure is like injuries within football. Injuries seem to occur more frequently in the later quarters. Why? I think the simplest explanation is the accumulation of fatigue and the excessive desire to win.
In this continuing pandemic, leaders are experiencing failure in their professional and personal lives due to the abundance of fatigue and frustration. For example, you make a poor decision because you were frustrated and tired and didn’t consider the outcome. Or maybe you said something harsh in a moment of frustration, causing pain and frustration.
The reality is that we can’t avoid making mistakes. No leader can do that. But if you recognize your failures and frustrations, you can make changes and improve your chances of success.
So how do you do this?
LOOK FOR ALTERNATIVES
When Dak was injured, a long time Bengals QB and now Dak’s backup, Andy Dalton, came in and led a game-winning drive. A substitute brings in full energy and allows other players to rest or recover, allowing them to make changes and improve their performance when they return.
RECOGNIZE SIGNS OF FATIGUE AND FRUSTRATION.
There isn’t a written process to determine when you need to take a break. That decision depends on your awareness. If you feel frustrated or tired, then take time away from work and do the things you love to do. Maybe it is a hobby or travel (where it is safe and allowed) or simply chilling at the house and playing with the kids or taking your significant other out to dinner. Re-focus your thoughts and approaches, look for opportunities to improve your performance, and re-build relationships.
PLAY YOUR POSITION
Stick to your role. Some people run out of energy and get frustrated because they’re trying to do their job and someone else’s. It doesn’t work for an athlete to simultaneously play several positions, and it won’t work for you either.
USE YOUR TIME OFF THE FIELD WISELY
Grow yourself. By growing your leadership, you will have the ability to lead others effectively. Think about the players on the sideline, riding an exercise bike, or getting attention from a trainer? They’re not doing it because they have nothing better to do. They’re doing it so that they can get back in the game.
Our behaviors determine our actions and our actions determine the outcome. Be proactive and make the changes to ensure you finish the year strong!
Denis is a former VP of Safety, HR and Risk Management. As an Executive Director of the John Maxwell Group, Denis is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behavior Consultant. He is a passionate person of influence committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques. His unique passionate and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a desire to become an effective leader.