One of the ways that Powerful Leaders support their people is by allowing them to experience failure, but never allowing them to believe that they are a failure!
Many people believe that failing and failure are one and the same; not so in my world. They are two distinct events. Failing at something is part of a “Learning Process” to achieve competency, which takes time. Believing that you are a failure is a mindset that causes one to become STUCK.
To become effective at shifting one’s mindset from believing that you are a failure to believing that you are a creator of infinite possibilities requires quality support of others. Each of us needs to surround ourselves with support network who can be there to encourage and inspire us when we have forgotten our greatness in our various learning adventures.
Today I would like to honour two powerful leaders that have supported me along my learning journey to becoming a Powerful Leader myself:
Jim Grieve, was my first real boss. Jim hired me to work in his grocery store when I was 14. At age 16, I had a run in with the police; Jim found out about it and called me into his office. I thought I was getting fired. He said to me, “How can I help you deal with your situation?” I was shocked. I thought he was taking me into his office to fire me. I will never forget what he said to me that day, “Eric, we all make mistakes, but I know you are a responsible young man and I believe in you. How can I support you?” Jim believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself; and as a result, he had a profound impact in turning my life around for the good.
Dr. Len Hill, was my fourth year thesis advisor at University of Calgary. At that point in my life I was very fearful about writing essays. Part of the reason why I chose to get a degree in Geology vs. a degree in Business was because I wouldn’t have to write essays in the faculty of science. In fourth-year, the Faculty of Geology chose 10 out of the 45 students to write a four-year thesis and I was one of them.
Imagine my horror when Dr. Len Hill called me into his office and said to me, “Eric, I would like you to write a four-year thesis, and I would like to be your thesis advisor.” I was shocked and scared because in my mind I didn’t know how to write an essay, not to mention a 50 page essay. I told Dr. Hill my fear and I will never forget what he said to me. “Eric, you are a talented young geologist and I like the attitude and commitment you show to becoming a geologist. I believe in you, and I am committed to supporting you by guiding you in unlocking your hidden ability to express yourself through writing a quality fourth-year thesis that I know you are capable of!”
The rest is history; I wrote the fourth-year thesis and I got an “A”! Dr. Len Hill believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and it transformed my mindset, allowing me to start my own company 20 years ago, write a book on Leadership and be successful at raising three great children who are all budding entrepreneurs.
Challenge: Who will you support this week in allowing them to experience failure and support them in believing in themselves?