Three Essential Enablers of Success

Failure is easier than success, at least in the beginning.

Miserable leaders posture when describing disappointment, frailty, or pain.

3 enablers of success:

#1. Honesty enables acknowledgement.

Don’t lie to yourself. If some aspect of leadership persistently frustrates you, acknowledge it.

#2. Humility enables honesty.

Arrogance can’t admit weakness or failure.

The beauty of humility is growth and learning.

The advantage of humility is the honesty to recognize limitations. Successful leaders know what they do well and, more importantly, avoid what they don’t do well.

The humility to recognize your narrow band of strength takes you further than the blindness of doing everything well.

Humility gives you permission to own your talent.

#3. Courage enables humility.

In the end, cowardice prevents success. You must look the beast of frailty in the eye to find meaningful success.

A failure runs from growth by never admitting mistakes. The most destructive result of never admitting mistakes is we justify negative consequences.

Distress persists until you acknowledge that failure hurts. (If failure doesn’t hurt, you’ve chosen the path of irrelevance.)

Every excuse you make for painful consequences prolongs failure.

The humility to step into the light with warts and weaknesses is rare, beautiful, and enabling.


Humility is the heart of success.

  1. Find a situation where your talent and skill make meaningful contribution.
  2. Acknowledge frailty, not as an excuse for failure, but as an opening for others.
  3. Make it easy for people to give you instruction or correction. When someone brings up a “small” weakness or fault, realize they’re softening the blow. The weakness is likely bigger than you think.
  4. Discuss strengths and weaknesses with colleagues.
  5. Have a team conversation about lessons you’ve all learned from failure.

Failure is easier than success, at least in the beginning, but as time passes the consequences of failure multiply.

What enables success?

Bonus material:

6 Powerful Traits of Humble Leaders (Thrive Global)

5 Characteristics of a Courageous Leader (HBS)

Honesty: the Single Most Important Leadership Value (CEO Magazine)