#1 – Be honest and realistic about failure
Admitting that something has failed is a difficult pill to swallow, but you won’t learn anything if you don’t acknowledge it. Look back at this year without judgment and ask yourself, what went well and what didn’t? The adage, “honesty is the best policy” rings true here. The more honest you are, the better you can equip yourself to overcome similar obstacles in the future. Also, be sure to use specificity when thinking about shortcomings.
#2 – Take responsibility for shortcomings
Acknowledging that something didn’t work is hard, and taking responsibility for it is even more challenging, if not downright unpleasant. Because of this, people are tempted to attribute failure to self-serving causes, i.e., the market wasn’t ready for my product or users just weren’t smart enough to see the value of my product. As tempting as it might be to shirk responsibility, it will only hinder success going forward. When you take responsibility for failure, it can empower and motivate you to do better in the future.
#3 – You are not defined by failure
People often think of failure as a label they can’t get rid of, but the reality is that failure only controls you if you let it. We are often our harshest critics, but remember that this criticism can cripple creativity, innovation, and growth.
#4 – Play to win
Most companies don’t actually play to win; they play to avoid loss. Don’t let your discomfort with failure keep you from taking the risks you need to move your company forward.