10 Ways to Maximize Bad Experiences

A young leader writes, “How do you recover from bad experiences with leadership in a previous job, and from having trust in leadership demolished as a result?”

The value of trust is seen in the ease with which it is lost and the difficulty with which it is gained.


Perilous point:

The real issue is you, not them.

What you do with bad experiences is more important than the experiences.

Fear holds back.

Anger pushes away.

Bitterness pollutes.

10 ways to maximize bad experiences:

  1. Overcoming bad experiences is a process not an event. If you can, take a break and rest.
  2. Welcome dark emotions, don’t reject them. Find a trusted friend, coach, or mentor who lets you explore your dark side. Don’t camp in the darkness just explore.
  3. One leader isn’t all leaders. Disappointment in one area bleeds into others, if you allow it. Make a list of people who have helped you along your journey. Call and thank them.
  4. Don’t go around talking about how you were wronged. Life and relationships are colored by the words you repeat. Replace the urge to complain with affirmations or compliments.
  5. Remain forward-focused. Past disappointments drag us into the past.
  6. Trust first. Let people prove they aren’t trustworthy rather than making them prove they are. But, don’t bet the bank on untested people. The only way to learn to trust again is to do it.
  7. Practice vulnerability with discretion. You can’t trust everyone. But, over-protection limits impact.
  8. Create a win. Bad experiences take the wind out of our sails. Set a new goal.
  9. Focus on things within your control. Trying to control other people is frustrating, exhausting, and futile.
  10. Spend time in self-reflection. Ask yourself; am I proud of myself, am I heading in positive directions, who do I want to be, what am I learning?

How can leaders maximize bad experiences?