Empowering your team to make decisions and take risks means that they will also make mistakes. Although mistakes are generally thought of as a terrible thing, powerful leaders know that failures can be used to help your team grow and develop. Taking risks and learning from the mistakes will allow your team to be stronger and more effective, but this requires the appropriate response and guidance from you to be effective. Don’t screw it up.
Celebrate the Risk
The most important thing is to celebrate the risk your team was willing to take. Without taking risks you will never get anywhere significant, but with risks, inevitably comes failure. You must reshape this into a celebration of the effort and attempt your squad was willing to make. This will overtime create an environment that encourages risk because failure will be embraced, and incredible lessons will be taught along the way. Oh, and not to mention trust… watch how your teams overall engagement shifts when they feel empowered.
By reshaping how your team views failure blaming others will become less of a concern. Blaming others for mistakes and where things went wrong, means that we are not setting a safe environment where employees feel comfortable and ready to learn from the failure if it so happens. The whole team needs to feel as though they are a part of making a project successful, productive, and valuable. They need to succeed and fail together to be the strongest team imaginable. Crank up the empowerment charts and push your team to make the decisions and coach along the way if needed.
Evaluate What Went Wrong
Once everyone is on the same page, succeeding and failing together, you can use failures to benefit your team as a whole. Failure, when addressed and viewed properly, can be more beneficial than the actual success at the first go around. Allow your team time to take a deep look at every aspect of the project and what went well and also, what could have been adjusted or done differently for efficiency.
Leading your team through failure and encouraging continued risk takes a strong, capable, authentic and trustworthy leader. How you shape this experience, your reaction to failure, and your guidance moving forward will be the determining factor on how successful your team will be in the future. A team who is afraid of failure, will be both risk averse and unable to learn from mistakes which ultimately leaves an entire team disengaged and feeling unvalued. This is a bad combination for any business, so lead with intent, purpose, and shape your team into the powerful force you know they are capable of becoming.
Be fierce. Be bold. Build your team from the ground up and celebrate all success and failure along the way!