Leadership Failure Starts With “C”

July 13, 2012

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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Remember how, in an earlier newsletter, I put on my math teacher’s hat and talked about the formula for success? Well, this time, I am going to don my English teacher’s hat and discuss the proper spelling of failure. You see, contrary to what we were all taught, failure does not start with an “F”. It starts with “C”.


In fact, there are three “C’s” that will take us down this unwanted leadership path.


Complexity – Complexity in anything leads to confusion and, ultimately, chaos. This is a “make or break” component of your business. If what you do is not clearly defined and simply stated, your business will fail. The most successful people I know (John Maxwell is a great example of this) take the complex and make it simple.


This also applies to most areas of life, really. If you make the rules too complex for your children, they will become confused and rebellious. A complex schedule is never a good idea. You may think that texting and eating lunch and reading and driving is a very wise use of time – but the reality is, it is dangerous.


Conformity – Now I am not advocating that folks go out and break the law. What I am advocating is that folks not be afraid to be different – to use their skills, passions, and strengths to live outside the box. We live in such a “conformist” society, and yet, if you carefully study the stories of successful people, you will see a pattern of non-conformity. I gave up a 6-figure salary and executive-level job to run my own business so I could make a real difference in people’s lives. This is non-conformity. Does this make me a failure? To the contrary, it allows me to be more successful than ever because I get to invest daily in the lives of people.


Complacency – A sure sign that failure is imminent is complacency. In a marriage, it’s when a husband or wife stops doing what they did before they got married to win the heart of their spouse. In a business, it’s getting comfortable with status quo or refusing to deal with the uncomfortable aspects of financials and personnel issues. It is apathy.


There was once a Fortune 500 company on the verge of bankruptcy. When the CEO was asked what could be done to turn it around, he sarcastically replied, “What do you want me to do?” As you might guess, that company is no longer in existence. His apathy cost billions of dollars and affected thousands of lives.


So how do you turn failure into success?


Turn Complexity into Clarity
Turn Conformity into Creativity
Turn Complacency into Caring
This means that Success also begins with “C”.

Which “C” will you be working?



  1. Wendy Staas says:

    Absolutely Brilliant, Deb!!! Struggling with my business idea — this is the second time today that I have read a blog that has told me to simplify my plan!!! I think the LORD is trying to tell me something. . . I know in my heart of hearts I am on the right track — but I am trying to rush it ‘again’ — (being a good I and D trait). . . I want to badly to be successful that I can taste it!! I know what I need to do — but I feel like I want to do so much!!!

    This is when I remind myself “one step at a time, one step at a time” — I am going to slow myself down, in fear that if I don’t I am doomed to fail — and I WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN anymore!!!

    Thank you for your wisdom, your guidance and friendship!!

    Blessings, Bella!!

    • admindeb says:

      Wendy sounds like you’re making headway! Keeping it simple allows you to move forward, one step at a time girl.

      I am a huge supporter of your new focus and your forward motion towards it is a delight to see!