Moving on From Mistakes

Launching a start-up takes a lot of courage and great resolve. What’s daunting about a new venture is the uncertainty; despite every possible element of planning and preparation, there’s no real way of knowing how things are going to turn out because it’s uncharted territory. When things don’t go as you’ve initially planned, you need to channel that same courage and resolve to get past mistake or misfortune.

Own Your Mistakes

When you’ve done something wrong in your decision-making or your operations, it’s important to accept responsibility. Don’t shift the blame to your workforce or third parties. More importantly, don’t try to conceal or deny having made an error. Shirking accountability cause people to have even less confidence in a person that the actual mistake that he or she had made. Being accountable and owning mistakes is the only way to learn from them, and it’s certainly the only way to practice effective leadership in the environment of a small start-up.

Forgive Yourself

Conversely, some people tend to put far too much blame on themselves for mistakes. They are harshly critical of themselves when they make a mistake, and sometimes they even feel vicariously liable for mistakes made by the people around them. They respond to mistakes by punishing and rebuking themselves. However, self-flagellating with regret or doubting yourself is not a good way to go about processing and overcoming mistakes. Rather than being consumed by remorse, you need to be able to quickly move on and restore your thought process to being positive and productive. When you’re doing something that you’ve never done before, it’s highly unlikely that everything is going to happen perfectly. Mistakes don’t necessarily mean that you don’t know what you’re doing; you’re doing your best, and learning from your mistakes can ultimately help you do better.

Harnessing the Intrinsic Value of Mistakes

Consider what you’ve learned from a mistake or an error of judgment and how it can help you to exercise better decision making in the future. When a mistake is predicated upon not having necessary information or having incorrect information, it can cause a person to become extra conscientious about making decisions that are based on clear and accurate information. Mistakes related to miscommunication or failure to work well with others can impart insight into how to interact and colleagues in a way that will prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future. An important part of overcoming mistakes is growing from them.