Americans love redemption stories. We love tales of rags to riches, of people overcoming terrible tragedies and crushing failures to reach the heights of success. We love the second chance, I'll-prove-you-wrong storyline.

But the fact is, there are some failures that are final. It doesn't matter how much we believe in ourselves or how doggedly we continue to pursue the dream, there are some failures that permanently close the door.

If you're a leader, failure isn't something you can avoid. It comes with the territory. You'll make bad decisions because you failed to size up the situation accurately. You'll make right decisions, only to watch circumstances outside of your control turn them into wrong decisions. You'll hire people you should have passed on, trust folks who prove untrustworthy, and launch programs that are dead on arrival.

All of these are normal leadership failures. They can be overcome. But there are other kinds of leadership failures ...

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