Show me someone who hasn't made their share of mistakes, and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t done much with their lives. Michael Jordan summed up this idea perfectly when he said, “I’ve missed nine thousand shots in my career. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed repeatedly in my life. And that is why I succeed.” The key is to learn from your mistakes all while not leaning on your past success. Otherwise, how do you grow?
How many times have we heard people drone on about who they used to be? I knew a guy who would carry an old picture of himself around in his wallet to show people what he used to look like. Really? Come on man! It’s like the person who spends an inordinate amount of time reading us their resume. Heck, I’m not that interested in my own story, much less someone else’s glory days. I’m more interested in what people are doing now and what their goals are for the future. Decide to leave the past where it belongs, in the past. And set your sights higher by focusing on the bigger picture or cause. Doing so, will allow you to make purposeful decisions that are grounded in serving the greater good.
Mark Twain once said, “Good decisions come from experience and experience comes from making bad decisions.” Take the opportunity to learn and grow from your mistakes. Find where a bad decision was rooted and then eliminate it. And don’t try to be perfect. Perfection is highly overrated and unrealistically sets people up to fail, including yourself.
One of the cardinal rules of leadership is decisiveness. As a leader, you need to have the confidence to make tough decisions that are not always all that popular. Leaders need to also have the awareness and humility to listen to the ideas of those they represent, because there is nothing worse than a dogmatic leader who is like damn the torpedoes, we are staying the course no matter what new information is at our disposal. Don’t be one of those guys...