Week 3 – The Value of Failure in Leadership

Overview

As you grow into a leadership or management position, you are not only responsible for your behavior, but also the behavior of your team members. It is especially important that you and your team are exposed to the idea of failure and how it relates directly to leadership. 

Many people avoid situations in which they might fail. Other individuals fear failure so much they will not take a risk or have an opinion other than what the group wants. There is an old adage that says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” 

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Select a leader in business, sports, management, or government and plan a short 20-minute interview. The interview may be over the phone or in person.

Suggested interview questions:

  • What can be learned by failing?
  • You seem pretty confident and successful. Have you ever exposed your team to the idea of failure to prepare them for consequences if the wrong choices are made?
  • In what ways does failure affect success?
  • What do you think is the value of failure?
  • How can having a failure change the way you make decisions or do business in the future?
  • Some leaders seem to always make the right decisions and therefore experience a lot of success. How can too much success interfere with creativity?
  • What if we could design a controlled failure system for work that could tap creativity without causing fear or stress?

Note: Guidelines for Interview Assignments at Strayer University:

  1. Before students engage in an interview assignment, they must adhere to these Guidelines for Interview Assignments at Strayer University. The purpose of the assignment is to train students in interviews or research methods, not to develop or contribute to research that can be applied to situations beyond that studied or that is created to share with others beyond the local setting.
  2. All interviewees must be at least 18 years old.

Instructions

Write a 5–7 page paper in which you:

  1. Propose two ways in which you can use a failure in your life or career to improve your vision as a leader.
  2. Examine the key traits and characteristics that transformational leaders possess. Predict the impact that a transformational leader’s response to failure would have on the performance and behavior of his or her employees. Provide a rationale for your response.
  3. Determine whether you believe that failure is an integral part of life that contributes to leadership effectiveness. Provide two examples to support your response.
  4. Create a list of five best practices for leaders to follow in order to be effective after a failure in the workplace. Support each practice with examples from your interview.
  5. Determine the manner in which experiences with failure and leadership affect the risk-taking and decision-making behaviors of an individual on a leadership track. Provide a rationale for your response.
  6. Use at least five quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia does not qualify as an academic resource.
  7. This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. For assistance and information, please refer to the Strayer Writing Standards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.

    The specific course learning outcome associated with this assignment is:

  • Evaluate the impact of failure on the risk-taking and decision-making behaviors of a leader.

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