Career, Career Advice

Mistakes … the Path to Success!

July 11, 2012
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Once again Dan Rockwell of the Leadership Freak has motivated us to share his insights. This time it’s on the art of mistakes in Five Ways to Get Good at Mistake Making! If you’ve been reading our posts long enough (or even yesterday)  you might have seen one or two typos that make it through our very loose editing system (thanks Melanie and Kieran for sending them to our attention asap!).  We loved this message because it reminds us to appreciate mistakes for what they are: valuable lessons. Enjoy this brief and  slightly edited version of Dan’s wise words.

“Too many mistakes and you lose credibility. Too few mistakes and you’re dead in the water, you can’t lead.”


1. Don’t make the mistake of letting your mistakes defeat you
. Churchill wisely said, “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

2. Don’t pretend you know when you don’t. Be honest and enthusiastic instead of pretending you know how to create a rocking Power Point presentation, when your boss asks you to take on the task of making the presentation for the upcoming pitch – perhaps you can say something like, “I’m pretty good at figuring these things out and am up for the challenge.”

3. Celebrate your successes and your mistakes. Stories of your mistakes can be humorous, endearing, and most importantly, educational. Most importantly, explaining a good screw-up before sharing a success prevents you from looking arrogant.

4. It’s a mistake to run from mistakes. After owning a mistake, begin the next sentence, “Next time …” Eli Siegel observed, “If a mistake is not a stepping stone, it is a mistake.”

5. Please don’t be a whining, cry baby. You look weak when you make excuses. It’s better to, “Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them,” Andrew V. Mason.

One more point we’d like to add is Own it!  After working in the same office for five years and again on this blog for a few more -we’ve learned to NEVER try to blame someone for your screw up -the truth always comes out- and who wants to work with their little sister, right?

Have we left anything out?  We’d love to hear your success due to failure stories;)

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