Mistakes Happen - Admit It!
As a leader, you make mistakes; sometimes more often than you’d like to admit. Nobody’s perfect and we're all human, after all. I truly believe if you aren't making mistakes, then you aren't working hard enough or you haven't been given enough to do.
Knowing that mistakes will happen has caused me to focus on how an individual handles the mistake when it’s made. If handled properly, I’ve been for the most part accepting of mistakes and a believer that there’s business maturation potential in these events.
I’ve always looked for a person to have three specific reactions to making a mistake:
- First, they need to own it and accept their responsibility for their actions. This includes them admitting what happened and their role in the error.
- Next, they learn from their mistake. They need to realize what they did so they can avoid making the mistake again.
- Finally, they move on and recover. It’s important to get over what’s happened and not dwell on the past so the focus can be on the future.
It takes a certain level of bravery to admit when you’ve made a mistake. If you want to be a successful leader, you must practice what you preach. One of the most powerful opportunities for any leader to build trust with employees and co-leaders is to admit your own mistakes. Own it, learn from it and move on! Leaders who admit mistakes build trust. Admitting your mistakes demonstrates that you’re human and this will endear people to you. In addition, showing you take accountability for your actions creates a safe environment for your team to do the same.
There are tons of qualities that make up good leaders but I've always been partial to following the leader who is brave enough to admit their own mistakes and confident enough to allow others their own learning experiences.
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