As a Leader, You Messed Up. Now What?
It’s never easy
to own up to and face mistakes. The little ones, maybe they’re not so hard. But
the BIG mistakes in your business or leadership can be quite frightening to
face, let alone figure out how to resolve.
are part of every leader’s journey. And they’re amazing teachers if you embrace
them and use them to change and grow. That’s why our world is full of brilliant,
creative people who’ve spoken great words of wisdom about messing up.
Albert Einstein, who said, “A person who made a mistake, never tried anything
We all commit
errors. Screw things up. Fail at times. But disciplined leaders make it a habit
to recognize when they’ve made a mistake and do something about it. And when we
say “do something about it,” we make take proactive, positive steps that
reflect a mindset that sees mistakes as opportunities.
made some big mistakes as of late or feel plagued by some pitfalls from your
past, resist the temptation to lie in bed and simply stew about them at night or,
worse, do nothing at all. Take action!
“mistakes” a catalyst for change.
It’s going to be hard but, after you’ve recovered from the initial shock, try
to be grateful instead of disgruntled if find yourself confronted with a big
fat mistake. Write down the lessons learned, using takeaways to inspire
corrective action around transforming your leadership, team, organization or
life for the better. Develop goals, strategies and action items to address
those takeaways, making sure that anything you set out to do is backed by
commitment and accountability. Without commitment and accountability, it’s hard
to effect real change.
yourself. You don’t
need to ever forget about what happened. (Face it, that’s impossible unless
you’ve suffered amnesia). But stop shackling yourself to the negative self-talk
and self-sabotage that undermines your confidence and ability to change for the
better. Accept your imperfections, knowing every day you are taking steps to
Leaders who are hard on themselves are almost always hard on others. And you
know what? No one wants to work for a leader like that. So pay attention to your
tendency to be critical of your team (and even your clients/customers). Get
objective input from some trusted colleagues or through our 360-degree feedback
around whether you are habitually hard on others, or unnecessarily hard on
people at certain times. Develop some action steps to stop it, for example,
instead of judging or making assumptions every time certain metrics or goals
fall short, start asking more questions so you can better understand and
Here as Management Action Programs, leaders come to us because they realize they’re struggling with making mistakes, owning mistakes, and taking corrective action around their mistakes. If you can relate, reach out. We can help. Contact MAP today!