Dealing with failure

Many people struggle with it. Especially entrepreneurs in Europe, where it’s “not done” to fail and where the underdog always gets the sympathy. Or perfectionists. The problem with fear to fail or insecurity is that it can kill you. If you are afraid of failure, you don’t take risks and nothing will happen. Here’s a great article from James Caan about his lessons learned.

How I look at failure? First of all, I know I fail constantly. When failure is happening: attack the problem, don’t run away because it will get worse the longer you wait. Look it in the eyes. Pretty scary I know, but next time it happens you won’t be. Try to fix it on the spot as much as you can to really understand the source of the problem and not the result. Once you did the quick fix: Don’t change the dream, change the plan! And most importantly: I DON’T CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!

Here’s a good one I borrowed from Dave Crane:

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Boss vs leader

bossversusleaderOn a daily basis I hear people complain about their direct “bosses” or bosses that influence their lives indirectly (bad politicians, lousy bankers, selfish managers…) . Don’t complain, don’t get depressed, act! Otherwise you have the characteristics of a boss too. We don’t need bosses and we should fight them with all the powers we have. Be a leader of the life you want and don’t let anybody tell you it can’t be done!

I’ve worked for bosses and with leaders. I recognize bosses in 5 milliseconds, and they feel that Smile The relationship with bosses were extremely short as I have a tendency to confront them into a “them or me”-situation. The leaders are friends for life. I can only advice you to challenge the bosses keeping your own strengths in mind. Don’t step into their ballgame, because they are great at it. They will try to scare you, but always remember they are more scared than you. They are very good at hiding it. Their worst nightmare is you discover their incompetence and that they will lose their power. That’s the last thing a leader thinks about. So don’t be scared of bosses, be scared of being unhappy for the rest of your days.

Should we be patient and let bosses become leaders? A few years ago I would have said yes. Back then I showed too much patience hoping some bosses would “become” leaders. Today, with all the experiences of the past entrepreneurial years, I would say no. I don’t think people can change from being narcissistic to altruistic, because that’s the core characteristic of a true leader. At least, I haven’t found examples yet.

So, let’s fight those bosses as they don’t deserve to lead you. You deserve a great leader to help you achieve your dream. It’s your job to find him or her. You deserve to lead your own life in the right direction. You have my mental support and the support of all Herculeans out there.

Have  Herculean one!