Proper failure: 5 tips what managers can learn from politicians


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Constantly there are elections somewhere. And there are always winners and losers who have to pack their bags. As a politician, you are only in office for a limited time. That's why managers can learn a lot from you. suitcase

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Claudia Hupprich Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®Claudia Hupprich is a management consultant for DAX companies and medium-sized companies.

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5 Tips what managers of politicians can learn

After an election you often hear “after the election is before the election” or “we are now looking ahead”. Clearly there are winners in every election, maybe even more than you might think as a voter. After all, we have all seen enough “elephant rounds” on election evening, at which politicians from various parties described themselves as winners and when the screen was astonished they thought, “What?”

At some point, however, disillusionment sets in. Because in a choice, there are not only winners, but also losers. The big loser was called in the federal elections 2013 eg FDP, which unfortunately pack their bags and take off from the Bundestag. After all, that's the basic idea of ​​a choice. Nice for the winner and bad luck for the loser.

1. Defeat as an acceptable risk

The subordinate candidate could now quietly leave the political stage, draw consequences from personal defeat and turn his back on politics.

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However, very few do that, because the respective candidates have a vision, a goal, a plan and you follow them with conviction. So it happens that politicians often act according to the motto "fall down, get up, crown, move on". A possible defeat becomes an acceptable risk.

2. Management: Not everything is planned

And here comes the bridge to the management, because not every vision, every goal, every plan in the implementation is successful later. Sometimes the risks of the respective action can not be foreseen at all.

Then the courage is part of one's own abilities and the constructive handling of a possible failure. Then mistakes, errors and defeats as well as the respective handling of the consequences belong to it.

3. Explore the world outside your own comfort zone

However, if you reverse your opponent's defeats and the associated possibility of your own failure, you will slow yourself down and establish a mistake avoidance strategy, which makes the entry of new territory almost impossible.

Only those who realistically consider the possibility of their own failure can set off to new shores and discover the world outside their own comfort zone. And sometimes that works well and sometimes not. The question is therefore not whether a possible failure should be avoided by not even beginning, but rather how to deal with a possible failure.

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4. Failure does not have to be negative

Because failure is experienced by most people as very negative. The key to a sensible approach to a personal defeat is to become aware of one's own negative emotions. This leads to a look back, the conscious perception and balancing of the current situation as well as an open view for the future.

  • What is there to learn from the defeat, which aspects led to failure?
  • What steps can I take to restore internal stability?
  • What are meaningful next goals and steps?

5. What managers should not look better

To accept the possibility of failure, as well as to deal with an actual failure, means to extend its personal scope of action beyond the comfort zone. And this applies both to politics and to management alike.

Unfortunately, many politicians do not necessarily have this ability. In this case, managers cannot learn from politicians. Too bad the opportunity given away.


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  1. Denis Mourlane

    Hello! Thank you for pointing out my contribution. I've come up with a quote from the best basketball player of all time (Jordan):

    “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

    Lots of truth in it. However, I also believe that it is always easier to write something so retrospectively, so if you are already successful. If someone has been unemployed since 2 years, although he has written 200 applications, it is much more difficult to see this as Jordan ;-)!

    Ja, man sollte seine Komfortzone verlassen und das Scheitern auch ganz bewusst in Kauf nehmen und als “Quelle des Lernens” sehen. Manchmal muss man aber auch auf der Basis einer guten Analyse aufgeben. Sonst verschwendet man seine Ressourcen. Zum Beispiel, wenn wir erkennen, dass wir für etwas einfach kein Talent haben (z.B. Basketball spielen ;-), unsere wirklichen Stärken also woanders liegen. Dies können wir aber häufig nicht durch “denken” ergründen. Wir müssen es ausprobieren und eben ggf. Scheitern. Also: seid mutig :-)!

    • Simone Janson

      Danke für den tollen Kommentar. Das Thema scheitern finde ich auch sehr wichtig. Allerdings ist die Kultur des Scheiterns in Deutschland einfach sehr schlecht ausgeprägt. Beispiel Existenzgründung: Viele lassen es lieber gleich, weil Sie Angst vor dem Scheitern haben. Siehe hierzu meine immer noch gültige Artikelserie “Besser Scheitern”:

      • Denis Mourlane

        Dear Mrs. Janson,

        yes, you are right. Perhaps it is also partly because the failed does not sell well. Instead of inventing any story in order to get away as well as possible, he could also self-assert himself, for example, in an interview, his own share of the failure, what he learned from it, and what mistakes he would not do again. This always impresses me the most when I interviewe applicants. I have also done this myself as an applicant, get the job and thus laid one of the most important landmarks for my later professional career :-)!

        Best wishes!

        Denis Mourlane

        • Simone Janson

          Hello Mr. Mourlane,
          that's a great story, I would take that as a job tip. Or do you have more to tell?

          As regards the fear of failure: in the case of entrepreneurs, this is also linked to the German insolvency law and the related stigmatization. There is even a club of anonymous insolvency.

  2. Job college

    True failure for the federal election: 5 tips what managers of politicians can learn from Claudia Hupprich ... - Highly recommended PKam39slt5

  3. Thomas Eggert

    Correct failure at the Bundestagswahl: 5 tips what managers of politicians can learn from
    ... via @ berufebilder
    - Highly recommended AwcO61XM0x

  4. REGIS GMBH

    Correct failure at the Bundestagswahl: 5 tips what managers of politicians can learn from
    ... via @ berufebilder
    - Highly recommended feEs2YD0bq

  5. Adzuna Germany (adzunaDE)

    Was #Manager von Politikern lernen können – oder nicht: Gekonnt scheitern

  6. Katharina Daniels

    Reinhold Messner hat mal gesagt, ganz frei zitiert: “Nicht aus meinen Erfolgen habe ich gelernt sondern aus meinen Misserfolgen”

    • Simone Janson

      Thanks for the beautiful quote!

  7. Simone Janson (SimoneJanson)

    What managers can learn from politicians - or not: Skills fail

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