Leaders will Learn some Very Tough Lessons
Leaders will push the envelop and take risk, some of them significant. And there will be times they will fail, sometimes hard.
It's in these times leaders can find out what mistakes they made and learn how to be better. it sounds so simple. Why doesn't everyone do it? Because too many leaders take this as an opportunity to point the finger at everyone else. They will point to organizational dysfunctions, the economy, retailer short comings, or lack of support from Executive management. The list of excuses will be long and maybe never ending.
This is the time when the opposite should happen. The best leaders take accountability for failures. They explain what mistakes they made and own it. They do this publicly and quickly after the results are confirmed.
Then they go through, many times painful, process of self evaluation and why they made the mistake. if the failure is significant and people lose their jobs or you lose significant business, this process might take a long time to uncover.
Personally, it took me over a year to pull apart the bad behaviors that caused me to hit rock bottom in my career and personal life. I had my good behaviors and really bad behaviors mixed up. (refer to my blog on the Biggest Mistake in Business for more details) and the outcome was miserable for a couple of years.
The good new is that I began to listen to the advice of a great coach and friends and got things turned around and closed my 38 year career with momentum and success.
As a leader, you will make mistakes. It's also your responsibility to take ownership of them and figure out why it happen and make corrections, even if its really hard.