How to Handle Leadership Regrets

As we have established in this blog, leadership is about seizing moments — windows of opportunity. When we fail to take advantage of leadership moments, regret and guilt can take over. Not to oversimplify, but we basically have two choices when that happens:

  1. Stew. Waller in our guilt and regret. Doubt ourselves. Beat ourselves up. Give up.
  2. Remind ourselves that everyone fails. Figure out what there is to learn from the experience. Commit to being stronger next time. Actually get stronger.

The key is learning. I have had many times in my leadership life when I have been wrong, done wrong, thought wrong, led wrong. In my case, I usually did both of the above. I stewed for a while (much longer than I should have) and THEN decided that option two felt much better. I have always learned something from my failures (I think).

Always remind yourself of your “history of success” — times when you did get it right. Hopefully, those outnumber the failures. Then, start looking for that next window of opportunity. It’s coming, sooner than you think.  You may actually be at that window right now. Go get ’em.

That’s the Jinks Perspective.

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