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Learning From Failure

When things go wrong, it’s our tendency to look for someone to blame. The best leaders, though, seek not to place blame in the aftermath of failure. Instead, says leadership expert Dan Bobinski, effective and positive leaders seek to answer the question, “How can we prevent this from happening again?”


Bobinski offers his Four P questioning plan to move forward in a positive way rather than finding someone at fault.

  1. People—Were the people involved equipped with enough education and resources? If not, how can that be corrected? Are the right people responsible for the right tasks? Is there strong teamwork? Is communication effective? How will the people involved respond to the failure? How will leadership respond and make needed adjustments?
  2. Products—Was the problem or failure due to a faulty product or incorrect use of a product or resource? Is there a better product or resource available? How can you equip your team with the best and most efficient resources?
  3. Policies—Are the existing policies valid? Are they written? Are people trained on and aware of the policies? Was the problem due to faulty policy or failure to adhere to the policy? How can that be corrected?
  4. Procedures—Are procedures in place in the event of similar situations? Are such procedures regularly reviewed? Is your team trained on procedures? How are the procedures reinforced?

Adapted in part from “The Blame Game Has No Winners  by Dan Bobinski.


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Learning From Failure

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