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Chapter 4: Failure

Executive Summary

Leaders experience various kinds of failure and can learn from it. There are qualifying failures, and disqualifying failures. These can be further subdivided into character-based failure, and competency-based failure. Disqualifying, character-based failure can be partial or complete. Competency-based failure can be direct or indirect. Some failure is so costly that wise leaders will seek to learn vicariously through the failure of others. King Saul is the prototype for character-based, disqualifying failure. His life calls out to us for vicarious learning. The best way to avoid the leadership pitfalls of disqualifying failure is to become laser-focused on finishing well.

“You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command of the LORD that your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure.”
~ 1 Samuel 13:13–14

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