Mistakes; Steer or Fear?

It seems that the necessary thing to do is not to fear mistakes, to plunge in, to do the best that one can, hoping to learn enough from blunder to correct them eventually.

Abraham Maslow

Maslow was an American psychologist who studied human development and satisfaction. He developed a theory called “The Hierarchy of Needs” which described the process through which one achieves a good life. 

Thus, if you want to “happen to the world”, it makes sense to consider a quote like this.  

As little kids, we don’t fear mistakes. In our efforts to learn how to walk, talk, interact, we stand up and fall down. We mangle words. We stop up toilets as we learn our toy truck won’t flush.

Slowly and surely, the world drums the creativity out of us.

We get grades based on how often we can spout out answers.

We get told that “we should know better.”

We get booed for errors in the field in Little League parks.

As we become adverse to mistakes, we become slow to act. We resist new stuff that could make us look silly.

It becomes a tension to manage. If you don’t take action that can cause mistakes, you don’t get better.

So, you get to fight through the reluctance. As an individual, we make learning and trying part of how we explore life. We know there’s no gain without pain. We put mistakes in the right place.

We must do it as an organization as well. Pointed fingers must be holstered. Personal attacks must be nipped at the tongue.

We turn mistakes into learning events. We are accountable for minimizing their impact by the actions we take going forward.

That’s when you “happen to the world.”

About The Author

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PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
PalletOne Inc.
Company President, Howe Q. Wallace

Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.


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