Secrets of bouncing back

What enables some leaders from Winston Churchill to Bill Clinton to Martha Stewart to bounce back from failure and go on to further successes?

by Director Magazine
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

There are four key points to take into account when trying to figure this out:

1. It is critical not to get too emotional about the experience of failure, and allow your feelings of betrayal and anger to get the better of you. This draws you into an emotional whirlpool.

2. Some people are simply not cut out for it and will feel like they have lost control of the situation when bad things happen to them. It is likely that these more sensitive souls will have been weeded out before rising to higher levels of management.

3. Having a hinterland can be very helpful. If work has crumbled around you, you will still have family, friends and hobbies for instance. A study of the effect of the break-up of US telco Bell Systems in the 1980s revealed that staff with strong family support fared better.

4. One can view failure as an opportunity to re-group, re-energise and go on to greater things.

Those business leaders who have fallen flat on their faces should make sure they get out a lot and don't stay indoors hiding from the world. They should go to conferences, networking events and headhunters. All of this should help to rebuild their confidence and give them pointers to future opportunities. Second, they should use the time to do some hard self-analysis in an attempt to understand what went wrong, pinpoint their strengths and identify the best route forward.

How to survive a scandal
By Widget Finn
Director Magazine, July 2007
Review by Morice Mendoza

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