This week I’ve been thinking about our ability to respond to things. Two things in particular:

  • Failure to produce expected results
  • Unexpected changes that are beyond our control

If you think about our lives, whether in business or personal situations, these two things can produce so much anxiety and disharmony. If I think about what I spend the most emotional and intellectual energy on as a leader, I think it’s in how I deal with these two things in front of the people I’m responsible for leading.

We have tremendous power to shape outcomes in our organizations if we realize how pivotal our responses are to failure and the unexpected. We are never going to escape these things, so cultivating a comfort in encountering them is a path to power and happiness.

In addition to becoming comfortable with failure and the unexpected, by acknowledging their inevitability you can prepare for them as well. This strengthens your ability to respond.

If you find yourself beating yourself up for failing, or freaking out because a monkey wrench was thrown into your plans, you may want to spend some time thinking about getting more comfortable with AND prepared for the fact that you’ll never get rid of failure and the unexpected.

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