The Short Answer: Yes!

Picture this: you're trying hard at work, but then...

  • You present to a large group of coworkers, and totally lose your train of thoughts
  • You pack the wrong items for your customer's order
  • You make a miscalculation and mess up your company's monthly marketing budget
  • You accidentally put all the bathroom tiles vertical, rather than horizontal
  • You think you hire the right person for the job but they end up not being a good fit for the job
Focusing on development could actually make you happier and less stressed, and feel more accomplished.

We All Make Mistakes, Right?

But it's not a good feeling – feeling like a failure. Often times for those who experience these feelings, it can result in becoming very apprehensive and careful on the job.

FoolProof is a big admirer of a guy named Po Chung, cofounder of DHL International. Po is a self-made man who started out fishing, and ended up creating a company with about a half-million team members. He has spent decades teaching young people leadership skills. He describes failure as, "Be the best you on the job and think creatively. And you can make any mistake once. But if you do, tell everyone about it!" That's not meant for shaming. On the contrary – it's so that everyone else in the organization can learn from your mistake, and not make the same mistake.

And at Google, they believe making mistakes is important to be able to innovate. That is why they annually give out the "biggest failure of the year" award. The big purpose behind this: to remove employees' fear of trying new things.

When You Make a Mistake

So, what steps can you take when you make a mistake?

  • Give yourself some grace - do not punish yourself and others for mistakes

  • Be open about the mistake - do not hide them, but put them on the agenda to talk about

  • Have an open discussion - discuss with your colleagues what happened, and how to avoid a similar mistake in the future

Aviation is a good example. In that sector, errors are always investigated, without regard to people. This provides a true learning culture. That's one reason aviation has become very safe.

We are usually too focused on good performance. We focus on the end result, while focusing on development is just as effective. Focusing on development could actually make you happier and less stressed, and feel more accomplished.

Learning Objectives Can Help You Improve

Knowing that's it's okay to make mistakes is not only good for your own development, but also for the organization you work for. It leads to more innovative capacity and creativity. That's why we and thousands of people believe in DHL's Po Chung and his teachings - making mistakes is a big part of learning and leading!

Help encourage that atmosphere where you are, right now. Here's to you and your personal growth.