Failing Forward

“Mistakes are great, the more I make the smarter I get.” –Buckminster Fuller

Have you ever totally underestimated the amount of time and resources a project would take?  Maybe it’s a new recipe, maybe it’s a DIY home renovation project – they make it look so easy on Food Network and HGTV!  Maybe it’s a new role or a new initiative at work.  You took on the assignment, the project, the mission, and you made mistakes.  Painful mistakes.  How did I not think of that?! mistakes.
We learn by reading, we learn by seeing, we learn by teaching, but we also learn by doing and failing and getting back up. 
In the professional services world – accountants, engineers, lawyers, etc. –  we are hired for our “expertise”.  We can’t risk not looking like an expert.  We can’t risk not having the answer.  And while there are plenty of areas that really require the subject matter expert, we have to create a leadership environment where “risk taking” and “mistake making” are OK.  Because without making mistakes, we never learn, and we never get smarter.
So, how do you respond to yourself when you make a mistake?  How do you respond to others around you when they make a mistake?

BJ Kraemer, President