“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions ..." - Arianna Huffington
In life and in business there are always options and so there are always decisions to make. Sometimes we make brilliant decisions, and other days... well not so brilliant.
Today's Monday Mojo post is inspired by a quote from co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington.
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Arianna Huffington
Too often we hear stories from entrepreneurs about their successful rise to fame and glory, whilst the trials, tribulations and failures they overcame get brushed aside. Many of the most successful leaders demonstrate a very clear understanding that success follows failure(s).
Now I am sure that nobody plans to screw up or fail - but it happens. Even the most well-crafted plans with detailed risk analyses and mitigation tactics signed off by an army of "experts" can go pear shaped.
Let's assume that we are talking about general life and business decisions here, and not the life and death scenarios such as those faced by surgeons, pilots, nurses and the like.
What matters is that when we screw up, we learn from it, and use that learning to move us forward - smarter and wiser. What can we do to fix it? If we can't fix it, what can we do to minimise any negative impact? What could we have done to prevent the screw up? What changes will we make to ensure we don't make the same screw up again?
Personally, I have made some monumental mistakes and had my fair share of failures. From a career perspective, I've taken jobs for the wrong reasons, and with the wrong companies. As much as I hated being in those jobs, I learnt a lot. In fact, some of the jobs I loathed taught me more than those I loved.
I remember a case, a long time ago as my career was taking off, when I made a mistake that cost the business a lot of money. When I realised my mistake, I went straight to my manager and told her what had happened and that it was totally my fault. She listened intently, asked what I had done since to minimise the impact and resolve the issue. After I explained it to her, she asked if I'd realised my mistake. Of course, I had.
When I asked whether I was to be counselled or fired, she responded saying that she had just made a significant investment in me and my development - now it was up to me to not let her down again. I learnt a lot through that situation that has stayed with me for over 20 years. I think the advice and tolerance from my boss (Jeannie) helped me become a better manager, and a better person. I received numerous promotions after that time and rose in profile - that failure shaped me and how I worked.
I certainly learnt from my mistake, and I never made the same mistake again.
That doesn't mean we should be blasé about failing or making mistakes. At every point we need to make every effort to minimise risk and reduce the potential of failure. But when it happens, be prepared for it, know how to handle it, learn from it and deal with it well.
As much as failure hurts, it's taking you one step closer to the ultimate success you are chasing.
Have a great week!
Photo of Doors by Pixabay
Photo of Arianna Huffington by David Shankbone - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15099520