None of us is perfect. I’m certainly no exception. And neither are you!
But many business owners place tremendous pressure on themselves to never make a mistake. It gets worse as your business grows – because a growing business means more customers to upset and more employees to let down. The bigger your business gets, the more eyes are focused on you. Stress and disappointment are an inevitable result whenever you hold yourself to the standard of perfection.
So let’s get rid of that idea, once and for all
Repeat after me: “I’m going to screw up. I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to make bad decisions.”
This isn’t negativity, this is being realistic. You’ve heard the stories. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Steve Jobs, the incredible visionary, was fired by Apple in the 1980s. Bill Belichick, a surefire hall of fame football coach, was fired from his head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns. Everybody fails from time to time, in big ways and in small ways. Recognizing this will allow you to eliminate the pressure you place on yourself, and on others.
Equally as important, understanding that failure is inevitable allows you to turn a negative into a positive. Because the fact that you fail at something isn’t important. What is important is what you learn from your failures. What’s important is that you don’t repeat the same mistake over and over. What’s important is that you take the time to examine the decisions and actions that led to failure, so that you don’t go down the same path again.
So stop walking around with the mindset that you have to be a perfect manager. Instead, do your best to make the right decisions and when you do something wrong, make it into a teachable moment. This concept applies to your employees, as well. They’re going to screw up, just like you will. When they do, make sure they learn from that experience. Don’t make your employees afraid to fail otherwise they become timid and indecisive. Teach your employees to think for themselves and to take calculated risks. Teach them to show initiative. Create a company culture in which failure isn’t a dirty word.
Failure is a part of life, and a part of business. Understand it. Embrace it. Make sure you learn from it. As Napoleon Hill said, “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”