7 Ways For Leaders To Succeed Through Failure

Failure Treadmill

How we fail when everyone is trying to succeed determines whether we will achieve success through failure.

Failure may not be what we wake up every day hoping for, but as a coach to successful leaders I have noticed that those who surround themselves with and embrace failure are the ones more likely to succeed.

Here are 7 behaviours you can use to punch through failure:

1. Fail Fast, Succeed Slow: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Most successful business leaders failed multiple time before they had a success.

“Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Succeed And Then Fail: A big success can hold you a high bar of what success is. This can make you less open to failure Put your ego aside, lower your benchmark and be prepared to fail before your next success. You will then be able to iterate more, with less pressure should you fail.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal.” – Winston Churchill

3. Get Into Failure Flow: Be failure mindful as failing without learning is a wasteful exercise. Be aware of what is happening as an initiative fails. In failure flow you will be receptive to seeing the elements that lead to failure as if in slow motion.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford

4. Process Failure: Use a framework to analyse what happened after the fact. Who was responsible? What was the failure algorithm? Is it repeatable or preventable.? What data would make it preventable?

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone.” – Johnny Cash

5. Only Fail When You Cannot Succeed: Failure sucks. It sets you back. It impacts the lives of people who believed in and relied on you. Have grit and persistence and don’t choose failure as an easy way out when the going gets tough.

“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” – Gena Showalter

6. Fail Resiliently: Get up, take the hit and move forward. When you fail, and I sincerely hope you will, how do you treat it? Every failure is one step close to success. How you deal with each failure, big or small, determines whether you will succeed.

“Failure are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis

7. Feeling like a failure is not failing: Many successful people feel like failures. Decouple your feelings from external perceptions of success or failure. Seek alignment with what success looks like to you, don’t rely on outside assurances. Reconnect with your feelings and drop the narrative you want to create for them.

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” – John Green


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Exponential Growth & Leadership #2: The Secret to Unbounded Energy

Unbounded Energy


My latest Newsletter on Exponential Growth & Leadership:

“I just read about your near death experience.
Wow, what an inspiration you are!
I can’t believe you still have so much energy.
What is the secret?”

What a wonderful question to receive. It got me thinking and here is my reply:

I want you to imagine that right now, not in 5 minutes, not in 5 hours and not in 5 days, but right now without warning you were to drop dead. You are gone. No goodbyes. No time to regret not doing anything. Simply gone.

And then…you are back.

What do you do now?

Do you carry on what you were doing?

And if you do that is fine, no pressure. For me, I came back. Unbelievable, and against some big odds.

I am. I am not the same. I am much more driven.
I am experiencing time differently – past, present, future; today, tomorrow, yesterday – these are all meaningless to me.

I am in the now, only.

And I am driven to make exponentially more meaning than I ever did before. I want more people to align what they believe with how they live. I want them to create integrity between their inner life and their outer presence in the world.

I am asking questions, not seeking answers. I am working with people who are already making a difference and guiding them to step up.

This gives me unbounded energy. This is my secret. And now it’s yours too.


How do you deal with success?

I watched recently how a very successful entrepreneur was taken to task on social media. She has just been awarded an Order of the British Empire and was on the cover of a high circulating magazine. Yet she was clearly affected by bozos commenting negatively on her various social media feeds.

I told her that I’d got my first magazine cover in 2006. At the time I had mixed feelings: on the one hand it was great to have the recognition for the work I’d been doing, it put a stamp on me that said, “Achievement!”, but on the other hand it brought out the naysayers, the haters, those who could not see beyond their own ego wanting them to be that person, on that magazine cover.

I told her that she shouldn’t be intimidated, swayed or affected by such people, in fact she shouldn’t even engage them – no matter what she said she would be stoking their fire.

Instead, I asked her to view this award and cover as a trajectory trigger.

“You have clearly done wondrous things on your current trajectory.
How can you step up to a whole new level?
What difference can you make in the world that would be a clear message that you are on a higher path?”

I told her not to answer me on this, but to answer herself…when she is ready.

I told her to listen to her inner voice as she considers this higher path. Her ego will want her to stay on her current path, but she has soul work to do.

“Find that deeper meaning and change the world, more.”

Success can come with a dark side.

Loneliness and depression affect everyone in all walks of life. Successful people are more prone to it and in a recent article I provided some practical measures to minimize the impact of the dark side.

There are three ways to deal with the dark side:
1. Embark on quest-centered therapy;
2. Explore the dark; and
3. Tackle the triggers.


Are you asking the right questions?

Replacing “What’s wrong” with “What’s possible” shifts your point of view towards impact and making difference.


As a coach and leadership adviser I constantly focus on the trends in achieving exponential growth and how you can make more difference.

I read all my email at rand@exoscalr.com and I’m also at +1-650-529-4181, +1-646-480-0205 and +61-417-655-947.

Please share this newsletter on your social networks or via email. If you received this from a friend, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:http://eepurl.com/bxGzD1


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Entrepreneurs, Executives, Influencers and Success: 3 Ways to Deal with the Dark Side

Loneliness and depression affect everyone in all walks of life. Successful people are more prone to it and this piece provides practical, tangible measures to minimize the impact of the dark side.

Mark Suster, a venture capitalist at Upfront Ventures, believes that success breeds loneliness. It can be a depressogen and in some studies the rate of depression in successful people is higher than 1 in 3.

Mark identifies four reasons success can be a lonely place:
1) the expectations don’t stop – they get higher
2) there is so much more at stake and so many more livelihoods and legacies that you plan for
3) it is only a heartbeat away from failure and the press love a rise and fall story
4) you find yourself surrounded by a bubble and often a bubble with vested interests in your actions.

This holds true for successful people in all walks of life, but I’d like to focus in on three groups:-
* entrepreneurs,
* fast-track executives, and
*social media influencers.

All three can get thrust into the spotlight of success with far more impetus than other groups and are therefore susceptible to the sudden onset of loneliness and depression, with no experience in how to identify or cope with it.

One moment Jim was a struggling entrepreneur. His mother kept yelling at him to get a real job. His friends told him that he was crazy. The next moment his company was valued at over a billion dollars and some guy he’d only ever previously seen on the cover of magazines was thrusting a very, very big check into his hands. He spent six months mastering golf and travelling the world. Deep down he began to feel more and more hollow inside. He was becoming detached from his former entrepreneurial self and didn’t know how to identify himself anymore.

Fast-track Executives
Greg was on the executive fast-track within a Fortune 500 company. There was a constant pressure of work on him. He was taking big jumps up the corporate ladder and the higher he got the lonelier he became. He eventually made it to CEO, but this was short-lived. He was replaced eighteen months later when the board decided to bunker down on what had worked in the past rather than exploring new opportunities. He was extremely disappointed and went into an irrevocable downward spiral.

Social Media Influencers
Helen shot to prominence when she attracted a huge following on her YouTube channel. She received a six figure sum just to place a popular motor vehicle in the background of one of her Instagram photos. However, the industry began to wear her down. While the going was good she did great, but as she started to stumble it became really tough for her.

What can you do to deal with the dark side?

1. Embark on quest-centered therapy

Before you start any form of therapy or very early on in your therapy sessions, figure out with your coach or psychotherapist, what you want to achieve, for example being at peace with yourself.

And then embark on a quest to achieve this goal, marking your journey towards peace with myriad small wins. As you progress you will get better at achieving results that progress you towards fulfilling your quest.

2. Explore the dark

Your life exists as a narrative, a story arc with a past, present and future. In order to truly achieve well-being you need to delve into parts of your past and present that you may feel much trepidation about. There may be dark times when your arc dipped low and this darkness cannot be avoided. It must be explored as it leads to the third point.

3. Tackle the triggers

Loneliness is often exacerbated by triggers. Things happen in your life that for most people would be viewed as slightly negative, but you view them as off-the-charts negative. Having explored the dark you become aware why these things have such an effect on you. You can identify very early on, even before the trigger starts having an accentuated impact on you, that it is there and you can act.

You can put in place methods you’ve worked out with your coach or therapist to combat the downward spiral into depression, you can blast away the negative thought processes and the self-sabotage well in advance of them taking control of you and launching you into a days-long relapse.


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Three Things Successful CEOs Do Exceptionally Well


Over the years I have taken on the CEO mantle a number of times, I have coached many others and  I’ve enjoyed being Chairman and working together with CEOs and their Boards.

From my experience there are three core activities that great CEOs have become expert at:

1. The ability to see the business and the macro environment from a 40,000 foot level;
2. While simultaneously listening empathetically to staff and customers (or users); and
3. Surrounding themselves with great people who they consistently empower to give of their best.

Creating this winning CEO algorithm in either a large corporation or a highly volatile startup atmosphere requires nerves of steel, a strong sense of self and belief in your ability to lead your team.


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Creating Contagion: 5 Rule to Delivering Brand Success


Here’s the rub…against a backdrop of thousands of new brands appearing daily, you decide to take your destiny into your own hands and create a new online brand. Your friends call you crazy, after all, how can you be heard above all the noise in the marketplace, how can you think anyone will become an evangelist for your brand.

Rest easy, there are 5 rules to creating contagion. Follow these rules and you will be well on your way to getting a strong following and building brand success.

RULE 1: Embrace Messy
The real world isn’t a clean, ordered place. So why should your brand be? Embrace the messy bits, do things when you have yet to perfect them, release alpha. Get out there, push the edges.

RULE 2: Release Control
Don’t think of your brand as a fragile newborn that you need to hold onto tightly and nurture closely without giving it any room to grow unchecked. Instead look at your brand as a sprightly teenager that needs a level of freedom to go into the wide world, explore new avenues and grow in ways you never imagined. Give up some control in your brand to your users, let them evangelise for you and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.

RULE 3: Back Fires
OK, you’ve got your site up and have regular users. Some of them are innovating on your site, but you’d also like to do some really big things on the site. Wisdom says rather pour small amounts of gasoline on the fires your users have already started, than pumping gallons onto large logs that no-one has tested. The analogy is that a fire with a small amount of gasoline on it will be boosted, whereas a log with gallons of gasoline will simply be a …wet log.

RULE 4: Scare Yourself
Look for issues that would take you way out of your comfort zone and tackle them. If you go right to the edge and really scare yourself, it’s easy to then deal with the smaller issues closer in to your comfort zone. Continually challenge yourself.

RULE 5: Solve Small
Give your users small problems to solve. This gets them used to working with you on building your brand. Once you have established a pattern of problem solving you can ratchet up the size of the problems you open up to your users.

Build these rules into your daily mantra and go build your brand!


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