Sunday, March 9, 2008


Rule 46

“A career setback can be like a romance gone bad. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’re doomed to repeat them, most likely in your next job. Many professionals are so eager to flee a bad job or fearful of being jobless, they jump from one job mismatch to the next, just like some people do in their personal relation-ships. If you’ve been knocked down but haven’t looked at what caused your stumble, you’re setting yourself up to fall again.

Bradley G. Richardson.
‘To Move Ahead Again, Learn From Career Setbacks’

We all make mistakes-we wouldn’t be the wonderfully creative, innovative managers we are if we didn’t. But some managers gloss over any mistakes they make. They cover them, bury them, forget about them. You, as a brilliant manager, won’t do that. You won’t beat yourself up over them, nor sit in a pit of misery over them but you will analyze what went wrong, discuss with colleagues why it went wrong and make a plan to prevent it from going wrong again.

Our mistakes could be anything from a badly handled appraisal, a lost sale, a badly thought our report, a poor use of time or resources, a failure to meet a deadline – when you start to write down how many failure there could be the list endless.

Once you have made your mistake the important thing to do as well as all the above is to find out the right way to do it next time. Being the manager is an ongoing learning experience. You never stand still and you never think know it all – you don’t and can’t. But you can have trusted people to ask and good reference books to hand to guide you – especially if they are short, sharp, snappy, and practical.
(See, for example, Roy Jay, Fast Thinking Manager’s Manual, Prentice Hall, 2001)

Mistakes are brilliant because they not only teach us where we went wrong but also how to fix it. You are a better manager, more experienced, have a wider spectrum to call on when you’ve made a few errors. We all make mistakes- admit them, learn from them and move on.

“The Rules of Management (Managing your self) by RICHARD TEMPLAR”

Rule 10
Let them make MISTAKES

“A boss fixes blame, a manager fixes mistakes” (Anonymous)

There is an old Chinese saying that goes something like this: ‘Tell me and I’ll remember for an hour; show me and I’ll remember for a day, but let me do it and I’ll remember for ever.’ Fair enough. And if you are going to let people do it then they are going to do badly at first. They are going to make mistakes. And you are going to let them.

If you are parent you know the agonizing thing you go through with a two-years-old who insists they can pour their own drink – and then proceeds to spill most of it on the table. You stand by with a cloth behind your back because you know that :

- they are going to spill it
- it is you who is going to have mop it up
- the spilling process is important and you have to let them do it and they will progress to not
spilling but only once they have got the spilling out of the way first.

As parent you do that wonderful hovering thing, ready to grab the juice if it is going to spill too much, or grab the cup if it is going over, or even grab the child if it is going to fall off the chair due to such intense concentration.

I’m not saying members of your team are like small children – well, I am actually but don’t tell them – but it is imperative you learn to let them do the spilling if they are to progress. Make sure you have your cloth behind your back ready to mop up after them.

And after each spilling you don’t tell them off. Instead you offer praise – ‘Well done, brilliant job, incredible progress.’ Try not to let them see the cloth or the mopping up.
“The Rules of Management (Managing your team) by RICHARD TEMPLAR”
Photo by Microsoft