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Leadership Lessons From Patrick Mahomes: 3 Steps to Overcome a Costly Mistake

Regardless if you were rooting for Kansas City or not, the Super Bowl champion’s fourth-quarter comeback was impressive.

After making some costly mistakes in the first half of the game, Kansas City Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was able to recover, throwing 141 yards and two touch downs in the fourth quarter, helping his team take home the trophy and earn himself the MVP title.

As a leader, you will make mistakes. It’s inevitable. However, there are great lessons to take away from this comeback story to help you regain your team’s trust and get back on track when it does happen:

Overcome Failure Fast 


After throwing multiple interceptions in the first half of the game, Mahomes was able to recover a significant deficit. Both in sports and in business, there is little time for hesitation. As a leader, take ownership of your mistakes and create a plan to immediately manage the consequences. Don’t allow yourself to dwell or ruminate on what went wrong. Understand the lesson learned and how to avoid it in the future, and be sure to communicate your learn to your team so the mistake isn’t repeated. The best leaders are those who get back into the game and move onto the next play.

Work to Regain Trust 


Mahomes’ interceptions could have cost him his team’s trust, leading them to question his leadership abilities. In business, it’s crucial leaders practice vulnerability and take ownership of the error and be truthful in what happened. Don’t sugarcoat what happened to diminish the impact. Do what you say you’re going to do in fixing the problem. Also, understand what your team needs. Each person processes and reacts differently, and leaders with high emotional intelligence (EQ) know how to communicate with each player to regain each individual’s trust.

Overcome the Pressure 


With more than 100 million viewers and millions of fans who have not seen Kansas City win in 50 years, there was a lot of pressure on Mahomes to recover and deliver. While it may not be millions of people, your team depends on you and has certain expectations as their leader. When you make a mistake, it very likely impacts your players, but it’s important to not allow the pressure to paralyze you. Employees want to work for competent leaders. Don’t second-guess yourself or lose confidence when calling the next play.

You should also lean on your internal network of peers – someone may have gone through something similar. Don’t let your ego get in the way of asking for advice and help.

How you lead under pressure is what separates good and great leaders and is the difference between overcoming a failure and not getting back up.

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