Thursday, 29 July 2010

Personal Leadership and Owning Your Mistakes

In Harvard Business Review, on April 28, 2010 Amy Gallo wrote an article titled "You've Made a Mistake. Now What."

As Gallo states, "Mistakes play a critical role in leadership development...By demonstrating that you've changed as a result of your mistake, you reassure your superiors, peers, and direct reports that you can be trusted with equally important tasks or decisions in the future."

As we all know, the very essence of being human is that we will err. Mistakes are a part of the experience of being human. The issue is most often not that we've made a mistake, but rather how we handle our mistakes. Do we learn from them? It is how we take care of our mistakes that marks us a person, as a leader.

Made a mistake?
Own it.
Fix it.
Learn from it.

That is the sign that used to be on our fridge when the kids were growing up. It didn't matter so much that the kids or we made mistakes, but rather how we took care of it.

Do we accept responsibility? Do we make the effort to fix the mistake, and do we learn from it so that we are less likely to repeat that error again?

We can create opportunities from our mistakes, they don't have to be black marks of regret. Mistakes are opportunities to be human and vulnerable, and to learn and grow.

Read Amy Gallo's article for more insight into workplace mistakes and accountability.

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