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我们该从重大错误中学什么?

Russ Becker 2016年03月26日

无论当时事情看起来多么糟糕,从长远来看,其实绝不会如你想得那样坏。给自己一点时间来搞清楚状况,避免反应过度。这对你找到解决方法,继续前进至关重要。

几年前,我在一家上市公司的某个部门担任领导,当年我们的收入与预期相差极大。我对这个结局岂止是吃惊,简直完全手足无措,等到整件事情浮出水面,再想要扭转局势已经太晚了。这个错误影响了整家公司,导致公司收入未能达到增长预期,股价和市场价值下跌,负面新闻随之而来。

首先,我要感谢公司当时的首席执行官——作为失败的部门领导,我的表现当然令他失望——但他让我继续在那个职位上工作,并鼓励我利用这次失败作为学习的经历。对此我心怀感激,我也知道不是每个人都有第二次机会。但这一次经历为我铺平了前往领导层的道路,帮助我的事业从那一年开始起飞。

以下是我从这次最大的失败中学到的一些重要经验:

保持冷静

无论当时事情看起来多么糟糕,从长远来看,其实绝不会如你想得那样坏。给自己一点时间来搞清楚状况,避免反应过度。这对你找到解决方法,继续前进至关重要。

反思

跳出当时的情境,保持头脑清醒,看清情势。在我上面的例子中,我意识到自己需要后退一步来完全弄清楚发生了什么,为什么预期与现实差得这么远。我承担了犯错的责任,发现自己没有足够投入到日常工作中。意识到自己的短处,让我重新评估了自己每天、每周和每月应该做的事情,杜绝这个问题再次出现。

从中学习

我的孩子积极地参加休闲体育运动,我鼓励他们把每个运动——无论有多重要——都看作对未来的操练。即便是大型篮球锦标赛的决赛,也应当把这种经历当作掌握技能的机会。这种想法也应当被用于职场。无论是失败还是成功,一切都是让你更明智地应对下个挑战的机会。

与同事交流

每一次失败都是向职场人际圈——不论是同事还是朋友——寻求反馈和建议的好机会。这些人可能会组成你未来职业生涯中寻求实时反馈的人际网络。

我可以坦诚地说,失败让我成为了更好的领袖。除了金融数据和管理,这次经历还影响了我更多方面的领导风格,让我帮助员工理解他们的角色如何影响公司的表现。我在那家公司待了很多年,取得了很多成功,因为这次风波让我们得以更聪明地处理自己的业务。有时在失去之后,你才能理解,自己需要做什么才能成为赢家。(财富中文网)

本文作者Russ Becker是The Forum Corporation总裁。

译者:严匡正

A few years ago I was leading a division of a publicly traded company when we missed our revenue expectations by a very large amount. To say that I was surprised by this outcome would be an understatement. I was completely blindsided and by the time the issue came to light it was already too late to rectify the situation. This error impacted the entire company; it led to missed revenue expectations, a drop in stock price and market cap valuation, and negative press.

First and foremost, I should acknowledge that the CEO of the company — while certainly disappointed in my performance as the leader of the failed division — allowed me to keep my position and encouraged me to use this bump in the road as a learning experience. For this, I am grateful and I realize that not everyone gets second chances. But this experience shaped my entire approach to leadership and attributed to my career growth in the years since. Here are a few key learnings that I took away from my biggest failure:

Stay calm

No matter how bad something may seem in the moment, in the long-term it is never as bad as you initially think. Give yourself time to clearly understand the situation and avoid overacting. This is crucial in order to arrive at a solution and tomove forward.

Reflect

Step away from the situation, clear your head, and get perspective. In my example above, I realized I needed to take a step back to fully understand what happened and why our expectations were so far from reality. I was able to take responsibility for my mistake and discovered I wasn’t immersing myself enough in the day-to-day operations. Being aware of my shortcomings allowed me to reassess what I needed to do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis in order for this to never happen again.

Learn from it

My kids are active in recreational sports and I encourage them to treat every game — no matter how important — as practice for the future. Even if it’s the final game of a major basketball tournament, they should use the experience as an opportunity to grow their skill set. This same mindset should be applied in the workplace. Everything, whether it be a failure or success, is an opportunity to get smarter for the next challenge.

Talk to peers

Experiencing a failure is the perfect time to turn to your professional network, whether it be colleagues or friends, for feedback and advice. These same people can be the network that you turn to throughout your career for real-time feedback in future situations.

I can honestly say that I emerged from my failure as a stronger leader. The experience impacted my broader leadership style beyond just numbers and management, to helping my employees understand how their roles shape the company performance. I stayed on at that company for many successful years because we got smarter about our business as a result of the situation. Sometimes by losing, you gain an understanding of what you need to do to win.

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