January 2, 2017

Whoops! How Your Failure Can Make You a Better Leader

Author: California DECA

We all know it happens. You forget to submit an assignment on time… A project you worked on does not pan out… You do not have as many members as you want sign up for a project… We all have failures in both our personal lives and in DECA. Yet, while these failures may bring us down, the expert leader utilizes them to become the best leader they can be. This blog post will explore three different ways that you can take your failures and mold them into successes. Soon, you will see yourself grow as a leader!
Method 1: Analyzing a “Failed” Project
So your project that you were working on did not work out the way you wanted it to. As much as this may hurt, rather than letting yourself fall to the floor, you need to pick yourself up and keep going. Turn this “failed” project into a time of analysis and improvement. This is not going to be the last time you will do a project, so take a look at what you did to improve for the future. Examine your procedures. Did you give poor or clear directions? Did you put in your best effort? Was there effective time management? Ask yourself these questions and more to see how you did at leading these projects. In addition, ask partners, teachers, advisors, coworkers etc. how you did at leading the project. These people likely can help you find insight on your project that you cannot identify yourself. Hopefully, by implementing these steps, you will find reasons why you were not successful this time and be successful in the future.
Method 2: Looking at Your Leadership Style
Everyone is one of four leadership styles: Caretaker, Analyzer, Energizer, and Driver. To find out which style you are, click here.  By knowing which one these styles you are, you can further understand how certain aspects of your leadership style can bring you down. For example, while Drivers are great at getting the task accomplished, they may step on some people as they get there. Or, because Energizers are so enthusiastic about a project, they may dominate conversation over others. Make sure to look at your leadership style and your insights, so that you can better yourself as a leader and as a person.
Method 3: Asking for Help
This is perhaps the most difficult step for most people. Often times, when you fail, you may not want to admit it, or may not be able to see your own issues. By asking others for help, you are allowing yourself to receive feedback from others. Others can often provide excellent insight on your leadership and how you can improve. Additionally, this humbling activity displays great maturity as a leader, and earns great respect from those in authority.
Hopefully, you will utilize these three methods to recover from failure and make yourself a better leader. Whether this was your first project or your thousandth project, you will always have room for improvement to become a better leader!

About California DECA
California DECA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Career and Technical Student Organization, endorsed by the California Department of Education. With over 4,500 members in 59 schools throughout California, California DECA works to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in four fields of business: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. For more information about California DECA, visit


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California DECA