Millennials – Freedom to Failchris@highlevelwisdom.com
The Freedom to Fail is a concept that not only applies to Millenials. One of the things I love most about what I do as a leadership coach and speaker is witnessing the transformations that people and organizations are able to undergo once they truly commit to a culture of change. Helping others to look beyond their current culture is a process that fascinates me, and the reason that I started doing what I do.
So, you can understand how much my conversation with Richard Goeglein, CEO of Harrah’s Casino, really resonated with me. He shared his experiences in overcoming adversity as a CEO who was fired not once – not twice – but three times before finding the role he was made to play. If you haven’t heard the interview, you should definitely check it out here – Richard’s story and his advice on giving yourself and your team the “freedom to fail” is legitimate must-read material!
Richard’s own story, and especially the moment where he pointed out that, on average, CEOs last just three to four years in any given position, got me thinking about how important it is that we learn how to fail successfully. Yes, I know that sounds like a huge contradiction. But I believe there truly is a right way to fail, a way that empowers us to make a new beginning out of the end of something that just wasn’t right for us. Here are my thoughts on the best ways to bounce back after stronger than ever after getting fired:
Freedom to Fail: Lift yourself up.
The first step to overcoming adversity is to change your mindset. Getting fired, whatever the reason, whether it was expected or not, is a blow to our ego. It’s very common to feel depressed and fall into a funk after getting fired. Richard recounts how a close friend helped him get out of his post-firing blues by giving him a goal and an ultimatum. If you have a support network to rely on, like Richard, now is the time to do so. You can also help yourself by exercising or reading books about famous comeback figures.
Freedom to Fail: Let go of the shame mindset.
It might seem like the natural reaction to getting fired is a sense of shame or embarrassment over what has transpired. But in fact, this sense of shame is not at all necessary, and it’s something we have the power to let go of. Being fired from a position isn’t a reflection of you as a human being. It’s simply a reflection of one small aspect of your life and of a situation that wasn’t the right fit for you.
Freedom to Fail: Figure out what went wrong.
There are many reasons why your last job may not have worked out for you. Your job now, for the time being, is to identify why. Be honest with yourself. Did you lack important skills of the job? Was your personality just not the right fit? Did you not ask the right questions before you started? Once you identify the issue, decide whether it is a resolvable issue that you can fix for your next job – or if is a fundamental, irreconcilable disconnect between you and the type of position. If you struggle with type of self-reflection, consider asking trusted peers to tell you honestly what they see as your strengths and weaknesses.
Freedom to Fail: Don’t be afraid to dream big.
Sometimes getting fired is a blessing in disguise. It teaches us something about ourselves, and it gives us a second chance at finding our “dream job,” which this last position so clearly was not in the end. There is no sense in sticking with a career path that isn’t right for you. Maybe you need a completely new goal, in a completely new type industry. If so – that’s absolutely okay. Describe your dream job to yourself, and go after it now. Getting fired is not the end. It’s just another beginning.
Until next time…