Have you ever had a really bad day at work?
Before you answer that question, consider Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby's day yesterday. In his team's 31-23 loss to conference rival the Detroit Lions, Crosby missed four field goals and an extra point attempt. (This is the first time that's happened since 1980, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.)
Worst of all, Crosby missed those kicks in an indoor stadium, which is typically considered a dream environment for an NFL kicker.
In his post-game interview, Crosby couldn't hide his shock and disappointment.
"That's never happened to me," Crosby said. "It doesn't happen. So I'm going to evaluate it but I'm going to [chalk] it up to something that is an anomaly in life that I've never even been a part of. So I'm going to evaluate the details like I do every week and move on. Because that one for me is something that I've never been a part of and hope to never be part of again."
Great attitude, and way to move on from a major failure. No use dwelling on the past, learn what you can and move on. Things will get better.
But it was Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers' postgame interview that really drew my attention. It would have been an easy opportunity to shift the blame to others, including Crosby's missed opportunities.
Instead, Rodgers focused on his own blunders, including multiple lost fumbles and the inability to score in the first half. And when asked about Crosby's performance, Rodgers said this:
"Love him...I think he's one of the greatest kickers of all time. Obviously he's disappointed; I don't think he expected this. We have a ton of faith in him. He's done it for a long time, made some big kicks for us over the years."
Rodgers then summed up his sentiment in a single, powerful sentence:
"He had a bad day today, but we still believe in him 100 percent."
Now that's what I call having your guy's back.
Rodgers' statements are humble and emotionally intelligent--and they teach us a lot about how to lead a team effectively.
The truth is, anyone can have a bad day. The question is, how do you help your people come back from those bad days? How do you help them recover from their mistakes?
Managers and leaders are in a unique position to rebuild the self-confidence of their people. When you keep your own failures in mind, it becomes easier to encourage and build up than to dishearten and tear down.
Additionally, by being willing to admit your own mistakes, you make a big statement about how you view yourself in relation to others. This naturally draws others closer to you, building trust and loyalty.
So, for all you out there leading a team: Choose to focus on the positive. When your people fall, pick them up--and remind them that everyone has a bad day.
Do this, and you'll not only make the best of a bad situation--you'll win others' trust, and you'll inspire them to be the best version of themselves.
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