“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”
~George Bernard Shaw

Years ago I was at an internal meeting at Verizon. A leader stood up and said one of the best things I’ve ever heard. “We make every mistake once.” They try new things. Just about every new thing. But they learn when things don’t go right.

Mistakes are important – they help us learn; they teach us new things; they guide us towards better outcomes. But making the same mistake over and over…never a good thing.

It’s important to free yourself – and your team (and your kids) – to try new things and experiment with new approaches. Think you haven’t studied well for a test? Try a different way. Think you might have an answer to the problem that’s stymying the entire department? Try it out and see what happens.

But there’s a reason people say, “insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.” Making the same mistake over and over is insanity and a recipe for disaster. Or at least for frustration.

Try new things. Use new approaches. Model your behavior on things that seem to work for others. But when and if it fails, try something else.

Go ahead and make a lot of mistakes, but learn and grow from them. That’s a path to success.

How have you learned from your mistakes?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.


For support in making every mistake once, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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Photo Credit: StanciuC/Bigstock.com

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