Blunder Up

Apparent mistakes may eventually prove to be long-term winners. (Getty Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Lisa5201)

Although God never makes mistakes, the rest of us can and do.

Many of us frequently admit, "We all make mistakes." And we say, "To err is human" and "If you're not making mistakes, then you aren't doing anything."

Leaders will usually fall into one of two camps when it comes to their culture of creativity: 1) They will discourage mistakes and respond in a punitive manner, or 2) they will encourage mistakes that occur through efforts to innovate and respond in an encouraging manner.

I believe we are influenced by the managers we served early in our careers. Much like parenting scripts, we tend to believe what we hear from our bosses as we launch out in our first few jobs. So our mistake tolerance is well-established in the early steps along our career paths.

In growing healthy organizations, love leaders establish a culture that encourages trial and error. If we want our teams to be creative, we cannot discourage the fruit of a creative thought.

Apparent mistakes may eventually prove to be long-term winners. Put another way, we must avoid the mortification of mistakes.

I know I've questioned myself a few hundred times along the way, but I've tried not to beat myself up for more than a short pity party. I've learned to expect mistakes.

I don't ever like a mistake, but I know that blunders and brilliance are kissing cousins.

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's leadership e-newsletter.

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