Own Your Successes And Your Failures

We're All CEOs Here | A Gravity Payments Series (Part Six)

When I think about what it means to be a CEO at Gravity, owning my successes, but also owning my failures is key. The decisions I’m making impact others – either favorably or unfavorably. Whether a long term goal or a short term goal, my responsibility is to make decisions that will benefit the company.

When it comes to the honesty piece, we preach about transparency at our organization, so if we can’t be upfront, we’re limiting ourselves to the growth that could happen. I work remotely out in the field, so I don’t have anyone managing my day. It’s up to me to decide if each day will be a win or loss. I have to hold myself accountable to do the things I said I was going to do, whether that’s meeting up with business owners, setting appointments, or following up with leads in my pipeline.

Being an outside sales rep at Gravity, you’re not around too many co-workers on a daily basis, so it could be easy to fall into the habit of pumping up your numbers or making it seem like you’re doing better than you really are. Hiding things, whether it’s falsifying numbers or not owning up to mistakes, will eventually catch up to you. It’s best to be upfront with your failures, rather than lie about them. None of us are perfect and we’d be an imperfect company if we strived for perfection.

That’s why as a CEO, you need to rely on the resources around you. Teams are put in place to help you out. There’s colleagues I can connect with who may have gone through similar failures and turned them into successes. It would be damaging to my role if I didn’t rely on the feedback of others who have experienced similar circumstances. It’s my job to learn and get better everyday to limit the failures and approve upon the successes.

The one thing that’s helped me achieve success is learning to set goals. This “everyone is the CEO” mentality has helped me better understand the long-term effect of my decisions and how they affect other people. That’s not something I’ve ever had to do at other organizations, because other people were setting goals for me. At Gravity, I get to define my role, my day, and the type of career path I want to go down. I’ve even brought that mentality into my personal life when I’m decision making with my wife. It’s helped me see beyond just the day-to-day, but take a look into the future.

So, again, it’s important to own your success, but also just be as passionate about your failures. Not only being transparent about when you have failed, but take a deep dive into why you failed. Treat every moment as an opportunity to learn. Once you know better, you can do better.


Ethan is one of Gravity’s Sales Representatives who supports the Boise small business community.

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