According to the Greek myth, Zeus punished King Sisyphus (not a nice guy, look it up) by condemning him to live in eternity with only one task: roll a boulder up a hill. The boulder was enchanted so that it would slip from Sisyphus’ grasp as he approached the top of the hill, and every day Sisyphus would have start again. Wasted effort, no results, an eternity of futility.
You are not Sisyphus.
It may be that you lose your grip on a boulder a few times, and have to start over at the bottom of the hill. But you’ve gained something in the process: experience that you can use the next time.
Think back over your life for a moment. How much more deeply did you learn from hard-fought battles and failures than from easy successes? Which of your teachers are more memorable – the easy graders or the ones who challenged every statement and gave tests so hard you were thrilled to scrape a B-?
Life would be much less an adventure if everything came to us easily, or instantly. Sisyphus only gets one memorable story with no redemption. You will have a lifetime of stories to share.
The people in your organization aren’t Sisyphus, either. Like you they can learn from experience. Don’t be afraid to explicitly teach and encourage them to learn from even the most difficult of set-backs and failures.
This is adapted from Glenn’s book, The Unconventional Leader’s Guide to Project Oversight