I don’t know how many times my former boss, my SVP, had to report bad news to the C-Suite because I failed to accomplish what he hoped I would.
But I do remember being given the space and the safety to experience my own non-fatal failures. He would help me find perspective when I asked for it, but he didn’t step in and “rescue” my projects out from under me. I learned first-hand from the leadership mistakes I made.
That space and safety he gave me may have cost him reputation points with his peers, but it gave me room to learn how to succeed.
“What did you notice?”
“What did you learn?”
As uncomfortable as those personal post-mortems were, the experiences that led to them were crucial for my growth as a leader.
Are you willing to let your own reputation suffer for the growth of those under you? Can you let one of your departments miss their goals if it creates the environment for long-term success?
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