How To Recover Quickly From A Bad Decision

Leadership is full of failures. Successful leaders learn to recover quickly from wrong decisions.

Vincent Vicari, MPA

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Photo by Burst on Unsplash

The fundamental responsibility of leadership is decision-making. That’s what leaders do, they decide things and others implement those decisions. Decisions are important, they guide the organization and team.

But, let’s be real, no one gets each decision right. Just like a starting pitcher in baseball hopes to throw more strikes than balls, leaders hope to make more right decisions than not.

The problem with wrong decisions is, however, we don’t know they’re wrong until after implementation.

Others looking from the outside may know it’s a wrong decision before we do, but we’re not always privy to those opinions.

Like parenting, when we see our 3-year-old climbing on the couch preparing to take flight off the arm of said couch….we know where this is going.

Leadership is complex because of the consequences of outcomes. We fear wrong decisions, but we know they will happen.

So how do we pivot and move forward?

Recovering From Wrong Decisions

Successful leaders, regardless of the size or scope of their teams, are good at recovering from wrong decisions.

When a decision results in wrong outcomes, the first step is for leaders to acknowledge the results. Acknowledge the decision wasn’t the right one. Leaders take responsibility for their decisions and use failure as a learning mechanism.

Not only does taking ownership show maturity, but it also takes the pressure off of your team and teaches others how to navigate failure. This alone will yield better results in the future.

One key point to remember: don’t blame others for your failure, whether publicly or privately, the blame is yours.

After acknowledging the failure and taking responsibility for the decisions, good leaders don’t dwell on the results. They learn from them by evaluating the inputs that lead to the decision.

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Vincent Vicari, MPA

Artist, illustrator, and writer on Personal Development, Leadership, and Creativity. See more at https://vincentvicariart.com