September 2012: Make mistakes wisely.

When was the last time you made a mistake? If you can't remember, then you probably aren't taking enough risks to keep yourself, your team and your organization poised to succeed in the future.

By definition, leading means that you're out in front.  This requires that you continually push your thinking and approaches. When you test these new waters, not everything will work. And that's not only okay, it's essential.

Mistakes, when handled wisely, can be our best teacher. The key is to look at the situation objectively (don't beat yourself up!), explore every angle to maximize your insights, and then assimilate the learnings so you don't make the same mistake twice.  Be sure to share your newfound wisdom with your colleagues and organization so you leverage what you’ve learned. With that approach, you can be assured that every mistake is bringing you closer to your end goal.  Indeed, the only real mistakes are the ones from which we learn (and change) nothing.

Today, ask yourself, “what was the last mistake I made, and what did I learn from it?”