5 Steps To Recover From Leadership Mistakes

Jul 22, 2016 1 Min Read
mistake, decision
Mistakes are the Seeds to Successful Leadership

We all make mistakes. If we don’t, we’re not taking enough risks. Executives with big responsibilities sometimes make big mistakes. It comes with the territory. But I have often watched leaders struggle to recover from a mistake made that probably didn’t have to be as personally or professionally damaging to them as it was. They simply didn’t respond well enough, and it cost them more than it should have.

Here are five steps to move forward and learn from leadership mistakes:

Step 1: Communicate quickly

You don’t have to tell the world, but those who need to know should hear it from you and not from anyone else. Let the offended parties know and the people who will have to answer for the mistake. This can’t be done too soon. Surprises like this never turn out well, but with advanced knowledge, many times further damage can be averted.

Step 2: Own it

Don’t make excuses. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. Don’t blame others. Don’t say, “I’m sorry,” but then try to wrap the other person into your story. Ask for forgiveness, if necessary, but own it now. You made a mistake. Be a leader. Own the mistake and be willing to accept the consequences.

You’ll be far more respected and stand a better chance of bridging support in the recovery process.

Step 3: Stop the loss

Do whatever you can to stop further damage from occurring. If there are financial issues involved, try to recover as much as you can. If there is collateral damage with relationships, apologise quickly and try to restore trust. I have always found that a humble, but confident response is usually best in these situations.

Read Next: New Leaders- Avoid These 6 Common Pitfalls

Step 4: Figure out what’s next

Help the team recover. Find solutions. Don’t leave the clean-up to anyone else. As you lead into the mistake—or even better—lead through the recovery. Help bring people together, seek wisdom, and help steer energy back to a more positive position.

Step 5: Learn from it

The best thing you can do is to grow from mistakes—all of them. They can shape us as people and leaders—either positively or negatively. The good news is that we get to decide which one. In the process of recovery, sometimes keeping a journal is helpful. Start with the question, “What can I learn from this that will help me make better decisions in the future?”

Reposted with permission.

Looking to keep your people motivated? Check out this amazing digital engagement tool, Happily in the video below to boost your team engagement and create a more fun working experience.

Continue your journey with us by checking out Happily (or Budaya for those from Indonesia)! It is an amazing engagement app built for organisation to drive engagement amongst employees with amazing analytics and activities for employees to be fully immersed in the organisation's culture and values. To find out more, click here or email info@leaderonomics.com

Share This


Tags: Be A Leader

Mark Moses is the founding partner of CEO Coaching International and the Amazon bestselling author of Make Big Happen. His firm coaches over 100 of the world’s top high-growth entrepreneurs and CEO’s on how to dramatically grow their revenues and profits, implement the most effective strategies, becoming better leaders, grow their people, build accountability systems, and elevate their own performance.

You May Also Like

Words VALUES on a card picked up with a hand

Embedding Values

By Sonia McDonald. Dear leaders, your mission is to bring values to life for lasting success. Are you ready to live and breathe your organisation's core values?

Apr 09, 2024 6 Min Read

A woman's hand holding a crystal ball (Leadership Perspective)

6 Ways to Understanding Your Own Leadership Perspective

Nigesh Armon, Head of Solutions and Services at Leaderonomics Digital talks about how to take a look at understanding your own leadership perspective.

Mar 11, 2021 25 Min Podcast


Why You Need A Powerful Dream To Inspire You

How important is it to have a powerful dream and to live it? In this week's episode of Leadership Nuggets, Prof. George Kohlrieser of IMD Switzerland and veteran hostage negotiator shares the story of a man who had a dream and then lost it

Aug 03, 2014 2 Min Video

Be a Leader's Digest Reader