I Shall Rise From The Ashes

Failure is not an option, it’s a requirement.

Like everyone else, I have had my fair share of failures but the one that has shaped my leadership journey is my demotion from leader of a pricing division to individual contributor on ad hoc projects.

“Sometimes we have to lose a goal to find our destiny. Sometimes a failure helps us see that we really don’t want it and we want something else.” – Jon Gordon

To me this was failure.  A painful moment that I blamed others for in the beginning but opened the path to enlightenment.  I share my lessons with you.

Failure Is A Reset Button
From manager of 5 to leader of none.  I had to face reality and accept that experience and skill are not an excuse for lack of emotional intelligence.  It was time to analyze behaviors, expunge the bad ones, develop new ones, and build up the leadership trust account once more.

Failure Sets Boundaries
In the process of studying what that led to my downfall, I was able to discover my limits, trigger points, interests, and passions. I now have a better understanding of what to look for to avoid repeating the same emotional breakdowns of the past.

Failure Is Just The Beginning
Jon Gordon says “Failure is not meant to be final and fatal. It is not meant to define you. It is meant to refine you to be all that you are meant to be.” Ultimately, being demoted not only gave me the opportunity to create a better version of me, but helped me give meaning to all the leadership concepts I was reading about but never learned.

“To begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.” – James Allen

What’s your biggest failure? How has it shaped you?




2 thoughts on “I Shall Rise From The Ashes

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  1. I would never associate failure with you. You do great work and you help others. Maybe leading that particular functional team wasn’t the best fit. Maybe Humana isn’t the best fit for you. Who knows. You still rock. You used the change to become a better version of yourself. I made a similar change 3-4 years ago, from functional leader back to individual contributor and project leader. It’s a better fit for me. Am grateful that Humana supported the change and kept me on board. Like you, since then I’ve tried to excel in my assigned role and grow as a person. I once thought of it as a setback but even that language has slipped away now. It was the best thing for me and for Humana. Like you said, a reset. Am glad that my current work role and my life outside work provide personal fulfillment. I now know that I don’t need a particular title to feel successful, and that shifting job roles up, down or sideways is okay. It all contributes to an interesting life. There are no ashes for you to rise from, Juan. Just keep flying.

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