How many mistakes have you made today? How many mistakes have you made this week? How many mistakes have you made this month or this year?
There are at least two correct and very powerful answers to these important questions:
1. The first correct and powerful answer is “more than I realize!” Everyone reading this article, in fact every human on the planet makes many more mistakes than they realize or acknowledge. We all have many blinders created and developed over the span of our lives. We all also create and refine many conscious and unconscious ways to avoid acknowledgement of our many mistakes.
2. The second correct and powerful answer to these important questions is “not nearly enough!” It is highly unlikely that anyone reading this article is making enough ‘wise’ mistakes. That is not a misprint… it is highly unlikely that anyone reading this article is making enough ‘wise’ mistakes! Phyllis Theroux correctly wrote “mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with making ‘wise’ mistakes. In fact, making ‘wise’ mistakes is essential for personal, professional and organizational growth and progress.
The most successful leaders have usually made the most mistakes. Study the past of successful leaders and you will quickly realize that their past is literally riddled with mistake after mistake. Why are they successful leaders who now lead with excellence? They learned from their mistakes!
For the most part: no mistakes = no learning!
Study people who are over-sheltered or fiercely afraid to take chances and make mistakes. They learn very little. They gain little wisdom. They live and work in dark corners perceived to be safe from mistakes and risk. They contribute very little to their families, their communities, their professions or to society.
The exact opposite is true of those who intentionally put themselves in positions to make ‘wise’ mistakes. They learn much. They gain much wisdom. They live and work on a well lit stage not safe from mistakes and risk. They contribute much to their families, their communities, their professions and to society.
“Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom!” You cannot and will not learn to practice leadership excellent from a book, a data base, a library, a speech, or the Internet. You only learn to practice leadership excellence… by practicing leadership excellence!
Make ‘wise’ mistakes and learn from them! “Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom!”