Conventional wisdom says to be a great leader, we must imitate other great leaders’ successes. So for decades, business books have fed us story after story of successful leaders, insisting that the only right path is to mimic these individuals. Why do we assume copying someone else’s strategies and actions will lead to success on our own journey? Our research actually shows most leaders don’t learn this way at all. In fact, the most common method they use to develop and enhance leadership skills is trial and error—the key word being “error.” Clearly, there are two sides to every story. And most of us have only seen half the story when it comes to being a great leader.
The Wisdom of Failure challenges conventional wisdom. Instead of providing a list of actions leaders must take, qualities they must develop or steps they must follow, we delve into the darker (and frankly, more interesting) side of leadership. We explore the failures and pitfalls of leadership at all levels by talking to leaders from various industries about the mistakes they’ve made and witnessed in their careers. Through guidelines and key takeaways, we reveal the critical attributes great leaders share—and more importantly, contrastthose attributes with the deal-breaking mistakes that can cost leaders their jobs and threaten their companies’ survival. Additionally, we show aspiring leaders how they can transform their own company cultures – viewing mistakes as growth opportunities rather than failures.
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