How to Influence Your Colleagues to Achieve Shared Goals

Leadership and failure are not often thought to go hand in hand but I think they are a match made in heaven. Together they remove a debilitating hierarchical structure, creating room for transparency, curiosity, & increased flow.

First, let me define Leadership so we’re all on the same page. Leadership is the “capacity to influence others to change their behaviour in order to achieve important results.” (1)

Dr. Bailey practicing Results-Based Leadership

Weather you consider yourself a “born leader” or it’s still a growing edge, by now you’ve probably learned that failure is a (big) part of life. You may have also noticed that the areas you achieve the most in also happen to be the areas you take the biggest risks in. We grow faster in the areas where we feel we can “fix it” if we make a mistake. A failure-safe mindset is exactly what allows us to think bigger and trust that we will either land on our feet or know how to get back up when we stumble.

So then, if failure increases productivity, it’s essential to create a failure-safe environment.

A great leader also understand that by removing a top-down approach (or the outdated managerial mentality), people can function at their highest point of contribution. Without the “manger” dictating “how it’s done,” opportunities arises for anyone to lead anyone else, regardless of skill set.

Here are a few questions that will help you reflect on whether your relationships or place of work are failure-safe:

3 Questions for Building a Failure-Safe Environment


      1. How do you respond when something goes wrong? Do you minimize the other’s discomfort (to give them room to learn) or do you maximize the repercussions (to “teach them” how bad their carelessness was)?


      1. Are the necessary skills being sufficiently taught (and refreshed) to enable creativity and growth?


    1. Is the idea of a “growing edge” a thing to be recognized and rewarded (when growth occurs), or something to hide in the hope that no one finds out about deficiencies?


    To create genuine results-based leadership, it is essential to learn how to effectively influence those around you. Once influencing is part of a leader’s working vocab, limitations evaporate and growth becomes a natural repercussion of simply showing up.

    I regularly lead workshops to help teams and individuals develop the skills to influence change. Please get in touch if you want to unlock the growth potential of people in your work and personal life!



    Grenny, Joseph, et al. Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change. McGraw-Hill Education, 2013.