[vimeo id="149343480"] You know, you’re going to make mistakes. And chances are you’re going to make a lot of them. But that’s okay! Perfection is the standard every leader aims for. But it’s not the standard every leader is judged by. The important thing is how we deal with the mistakes we make…and what we do to avoid them in the future. So here are four steps every leader should take when they make a mistake.
First of all, take responsibility for your actions. If you do nothing else, at least take responsibility. There is nothing that undermines a leader’s character and ability than trying to shift the blame. As the leader, you are the trend-setter. You set the tone of your organization’s culture. If you try to deflect blame that you deserve, every other person in the organization will do the same. On the other hand, if you take responsibility and just say you know, “hey, that was my fault,” then you give every person the freedom to do the same. The people around you will feel more secure in admitting their faults. This fosters a healthy, integrated culture in your organization.
Secondly, diagnose what went wrong. How did this mistake happen? Were you too busy with other things? Were you tasked with something out of your skillset? Maybe there was a communication breakdown. Or perhaps it was just a plain user-error. Whatever the cause, a leader must know why the mistake happened before they can strategize how to prevent it.
And lastly, take steps to prevent the same mistake occurring again. Once you know how the problem occurred, you know how to stop it. If it was a communication breakdown, give your employees a written procedure that details who needs to be copied on certain communication. If you were too busy, then maybe you need to delegate more of your tasks. There are always steps you can take to minimize the chance of future mistakes.
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