How well do you make mistakes?

Everybody makes mistakes. While leaders get many things right, the ability to handle mistakes is critical. Top leaders excel by learning from their mistakes and moving forward. Guru Singh notes that if one is leading a line of people and stumbles, failure to get back up means that the leader is no longer leading the group.

According to Guru Singh, a good teacher learns from mistakes and teaches by example. This has direct application for leaders in organizations. Guru Singh notes that the first step in learning from our mistakes is forgiving ourselves for messing up. That helps us ‘give forward’ from the mistake, learn and move on. The alternative is to dwell on the mistake, often with guilt, self-pity, and negative energy.

‘Failure is not falling down, it is staying down’ is a variation on a quote from Mary Pickford. After I’ve made a mistake I own it and use meditation to forgive myself and focus on what I can learn. This helps me pivot from the misstep and get into solution mode. Perhaps you can see your next mistake as an opportunity to solve a problem and learn.

Forgiveness fosters a positive state of mind that is more conducive to the learning your team needs to happen. Neuroscience research indicates that our orientation around mistakes can cultivate (or impede) moments of breakthrough and insight. More on that later!


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