I read an excellent post from
Guy Kawasaki's blog, How to change the world. The post was an interview with
Jerry White, the co-founder of Survivor Corps.
The interview focused on the art of survival. How do you go on after a tragedy,
how do you move away from that event?
It made me think about the aura that failure can give you. When you project
fails, you can surrender to the failure or move on, determined to make the next
project a success. You can also choose to become a victim of that failure, a
let it taint the next project with defeatism.
So, let's apply Jerry's recipe for surviving a failed project.
The project has failed. There is nothing that can be done about it now.
Don't try to blame circumstances or other people or anything that takes the
failure away from you. You may not be the sole architect of that failure, but
finding reasons to escape responsibility is not the way to go.
Choose life, not death.
Jerry talks about creating options for a positive future. Once you've
accepted the failure of the previous project, don't let it slow you down. Let
go of that failure and move forward.
Maybe you need to learn some new skills for project management? Maybe you
need to improve how you manage your team, or how you manage expectations, or
simply how you manage your time. Training sessions can only help you improve
yourself, if only by giving you a confidence boost. Getting a mentor or a life
coach can be beneficial too.
Get your hands on a new project. See it as an opportunity to start fresh.
You can apply what you learned in your training or mentoring sessions. Most of
all, working on a new project will motivate you. It will change your outlook,
from being the one whose project just failed, to being the one whose new
project will succeed.
You're not only one who's failed before. When someone else has a failure on
their score sheet, don't turn your back on them. You can become their mentor.
You can offer them some guidance to move away from the failure and become
better at project management.
My take on it: it's about looking ahead
Recovering from a failure requires that you look ahead of you. You can't move
forward when you're always revisiting the past. And if you're constantly
thinking of that past failure, other people will see that in you too. The aura
of failure is not put on you by the others around them, you're the one keeping
Focus on how good you can be.