Embrace Mistakes For Enduring Success

In a recent interview two candidates were asked to describe a time they made a mistake; here are their responses:

Candidate #1 – “I thoroughly prepare and plan for situations.  I then meticulously and consciously execute the plans to eliminate mistakes; I rarely fail.  Measure twice, cut once is always my mantra.”
Candidate #2: – “Though I never enter a situation intending to fail, I do make mistakes.  For instance, last month I missed my sales goal because I overestimated how strong my relationship with a key buyer was.  I learned I needed to not take the orders for granted and to work hard at post-sale activities even when I think the sale is a done deal.”
Which candidate would you hire – one who over prepares and rarely makes mistakes or the one who is willing to make mistakes but learns from them?
Not only is it important to hire people who are willing to make mistakes, it’s important to foster an environment where making mistakes is embraced.  Jeff Stibel, a neuroscientist and currently the Chairman and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., has gone as far as to create a “failure wall” whereby everyone in the company is encouraged to post their mistakes.  The wall, initiated with Stibel’s own failures,  quickly filled up with many failures and the organization grew rapidly as employees embraced new and creative approaches knowing that failure was okay.
Empower your organization to make mistakes and you experience long term success.
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Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Selection

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