Making Mistakes is Good for Business

Blog located in Coaching & Mentoring, Culture posted on

Do you remember when you were in elementary school? Everything you learned at that time was new and exciting. How did you really learn? First, you learned from the teacher. Second, you learned from your mistakes. You had no choice!. You had to admit you were wrong before you could learn from it! Similarly making mistakes a an adult is a normal part of life. Making mistakes is good for business.

When people grow up, we tend not to admit to making mistakes. We feel we know it all.

The More you Know, the Less you Know

On the contrary, the more you know, the less you know. Why? Because there’s always something new to learn! But since change is so much harder than we admit, we often suffer through the same mistakes again and again instead of making the tough changes needed to avoid them.

The need to do things differently does not mean there is something wrong with you. It means you are making the wrong choices.  It may even require renewing commitments you’ve broken before. The feeling of guilt and failure becomes so big that you don’t have the courage to try again.

You Need to Make Mistakes to Learn

The biggest lesson to learn when making mistakes is that you have to examine your own ability to change. Some kinds of change will be easier for you than others; and until you make mistakes and try to correct them you won’t know what they are.

Same thing applies to your business. Make mistakes earlier on and learn from them!  From hiring the wrong guy to blowing acquisitions, Steve Jobs has made many mistakes over his long career. With John Sculley he got someone that didn’t understand Apple. Eventually Sculley pushed for Jobs’ ouster.

Let’s look at Oprah Winfrey, one of the richest women on the planet and the first female, self-made, African-American billionaire. Oprah revealed she started her network OWN before she was personally ready. Oprah said she started her network because she felt that the pressure was on her to make it happen. She’s not one to run from risk; instead she gained her wealthy status because she wasn’t afraid of taking chances and making quick decisions. Oprah said that she wishes she had taken a break after ending her talk show before starting another massive venture such as OWN. Personally, she just wasn’t ready.

No One is Sheltered from Failures

Businesses fail, relationships fail and people fail to reach their goals…all the time.  This is not always a bad thing.  In fact, most people who fail will tell you it pushed them on to bigger and better things.

But, the reality is, children need to fail.  Failure builds resiliency, the ability to cope, to carry on – and above all, to learn.

Build an environment in which you and your employees will learn from making mistakes.  Build success stories boards or share the stories during companies meetings demonstrating how learning from mistakes made your business more successful.


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