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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Empathy: It’s about making a connection.

Empathy is not a panacea for everything. However, drawing on empathy, practising the art of empathy, not only helps others when they are feeling down, but it also gives us new perspective.

This short video gives a wonderful overview of how empathy works. Watch it. Try it. Practising empathy is like a muscle, the more you do it, the better you become:


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How Coaching Can Help You Cheat Death

Cheating Death


One of the most thought provoking questions I’ve received is whether I can help people cheat death.

Are you coaching people on how to cheat death?! If so, shut up and take my money.

Cheating death implies there is a grand design and order that predetermines the specific moment and manner in which you will die. The universe is far more subtle than that. It is not overly concerned with you and your sense of self. The universe doesn’t care if your ego lives or dies, if you are happy or suffering. But it does have an order to how it operates. Once you are on the final runway of life it would take a significant force to redirect your energy back to our reality and bring you back from the brink. Let’s call this a life force multiplier.

I do believe my transformational coaching can help you to harness that force. I believe I can assist you to understand the energies at play. When the time comes, you will know what to do to create your life force multiplier. You can then choose to ‘cheat’ death for a higher purpose.

Let’s use an example to delve deeper.

You are seen by your peers as a great leader who has already made it. But if at any point in your life you had taken the time to really stop and think about it, deep down you would know you could do better. But now it’s too late. You know you haven’t stepped up enough, and disappointment pervades your moment of death. You could’ve done more. You could’ve faced death satisfied you had done your best to make the world a better place. Instead you slip away surrounded by defeat and regret. This is a very confronting thought.

In that moment of death comes pure clarity and you know, without a doubt that you could have avoided that feeling of disappointment by:
* tackling your challenges head on,
* confronting your fear of the unknown,
* dealing with the complexities that surrounded you.

Had you stepped up earlier, embraced your greatness, done all you could and given your best, there are two possible outcomes at that moment of death:
1. You could move on to the next realm with a smile on your face. Sometimes it is a person’s time to go and c’est la vie; or
2. Whatever affliction or situation threatened to kill you, you could turn things around, fight it from the depth of your soul and make it back – your determination to continue your great work radically boosts your inner strength and your life force multiplier kicks in, you achieve flow and pull yourself back from the brink.

There have been numerous accounts of near death experiences in which people have come back filled with an overriding desire to make the world a better place. In my case I faced overwhelming odds, but as I recovered I knew with absolute certainty: I had done so to change the world.

I had done so to change the world.

How do you get to be in such a position where you have the inner strength to effectively ‘cheat’ death in order to achieve more?
This is not about your ego, your sense of self, or what defines you. You need to be working on things that totally resonate with you at your deepest level. You need to be totally focused on your soul work. And this is where my role as a transformational coach kicks in. We spend time finding what resonates with you and finding your purpose. We work through any blockages to you achieving your goals and then developing a plan of action. I am there for you on your journey as you execute on your goals. I have your back. I act as a sounding board and a trusted advisor, because your board of directors is not there for you in this capacity.

Where are you positioned on the Life Purpose Spectrum?
How purposefully you live your live can be measured on a continuum. We can call this the Life Purpose Spectrum.

If you are placed at the far left of this spectrum your life has no purpose. Perhaps at some point you felt it did, but your priorities have shifted. A common example is that you realize your role leading your organization no longer resonates with you.

If you are placed on the opposite end of the continuum, the far right of the spectrum, your life is filled with purpose. To continue the above example, you may have found your purpose again by transforming your organization, changing its business model to be more relevant to a more engaged customer ecosystem. Or you may have moved on to another organization that better reflects what you find important in life.

Take a moment and ask yourself,

“Where do I sit on the spectrum?”

Write your answer down.

Now think about people who participate in death-defying activities. Your first thought is probably that they are off the continuum, that they are at the far, far right of the spectrum. That may well be the case, but it is their mindset that I want to highlight. Their mindset is instructive for you as a leader as you think deeper about where you truly sit on the Life Purpose Spectrum.

Consider Loic Jean-Albert. He is a proximity flier. That means he dons a $2500 wing suit and jumps off mountains. After an initial free fall of a few hundred meters to achieve optimal acceleration speed, his suit inflates. He then hurtles downwards at a speed of more than 50 meters a second. The smallest error can be catastrophic. He has had a lot of friends die – he isn’t playing golf.

But for him it is life, it is living – in a Newsweek article he says that he watched his grandmother die of cancer in bed and he found that horrific.

“I can’t imagine anything worse. What is important is how you live. Death is inevitable. I don’t care how or where I die. Those details are not relevant. And who knows, death might just be one of the most beautiful things that we get to experience.”

For him it is all about purpose. If he is following his true purpose then whether he lives or dies is neither here nor there.

“We are evolving, through technology and through skill. I liken what we’re doing in proximity flying to the first animals that left the water. We are evolving and growing. And becoming stronger. What else is the purpose of life?”

Another proximity flier, Ellen Brennan, points out that for her it is all a question of what you want from your life.

“Do you want to go work your ass off, never get out of that hole and exist knowing that this is all that you’ll ever have, apart from maybe two week’s vacation in Florida every summer? Because that’s not what I want. I want to do things that people tell me I can’t do. And that domestic grind, to me, is not life. I want to live.”

Now ask yourself again,

“Where do I sit on the spectrum?”

Write your answer down. Does it differ from your initial answer? If you are truthful to your inner soul and find yourself further left on the spectrum than you initially thought, you’ve got some work to do.


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