True Leaders Make Mistakes

Gifford Thomas re-posted an article from Lolly Daskal about true leaders making mistakes. The article was fascinating since that is what I’ve been teaching for years. It’s human to err.
What I’ve been teaching is that it’s okay to make mistakes but what’s important is that we learn from our mistakes. In order to learn means that we have to figure out what needs we were trying to meet when we made the mistake. We are all trying to meet one or more of our five basic needs, love, power, fun or freedom and survival. This is most important to teach our children, parents, employees and our leaders.
To be human means to mess up once in a while. But the difference between good leaders and great ones lies in how they hand those mistakes. Here are 4 simple but impressive ways you can demonstrate great leadership when you make mistakes:
1. Acknowledge your mistakes.
I teach people that it’s important you model this by saying, “Oops, I made a mistake! I wonder what I was trying to get or what need I was trying to meet, love, power, fun, freedom or survival?”
2. Learn from your mistakes.
The way I teach this is to discover which needs you were trying to meet and then say, “I was trying to get my power need met by getting the job done quickly but I was rushing and not being patient with myself. Next time, I will be more focused on doing the job well and correctly rather than quickly.”
3. Teach others from your mistakes.
Make a point of modelling how to learn from your mistake and telling others how you will fix your mistake so that they learn that mistakes are normal and that you always try to learn from each mistake.
4. Move beyond your mistakes.
Success is connected with action. Successful people keep moving; they make mistakes but they don’t quit.
Like all of us, you are bound to make mistakes. But when you handle them well, they can help you be a better leader and a better person.

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