Thursday, March 30, 2023
Subscribe to Small Business Monthly
Small Business Monthly on Facebook Small Business Monthly on Twitter Small Business Monthly on LinkedIn

SBM Articles


Leaders Embrace Mistakes For Their Future

by Jonathan Jones

A management style that tolerates no mistakes in the workplace stifles innovation as well as morale. Employees learn to avoid trying anything new, experimenting with new and better methods, and developing new products. Discouraged from taking risks, they will slip into a compliance mode: productive enough but disengaged from what they do.  

Whatever intolerant leaders think they gain in control, they lose in their most valuable resource: the creativity of their people. The most talented employees will leave for an organization that will encourage risks for the sake of the company, the customer or simply doing the right thing. As Michael Jordan, a winning leader and team player, famously said: “I can accept failure; everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

We grow our organizations by developing our employees, by demonstrating faith in their abilities. Experience is the best teacher, and the best experience comes of trying – and sometimes failing – vigorously and often. Shortsighted leaders who replace people for perceived “mistakes” lose the investment in those people’s talents and company experience. The replacement employee, however able, will still have to relearn the culture and may in the end be less talented than the dismissed worker.

Very few people have all the needed attributes to be immediately successful in any job. Every employee – no matter how impressive his or her résumé or skill set – needs training, guidance and trust. Our job as leaders is to create an environment that will nurture a variety of talents and even personalities – and if we have provided the right coaching and support and have faith in our workers’ abilities, they will nearly always exceed our expectations.

Jonathan Jones ( or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.
Submitted 7 years 274 days ago
Categories: categoryCulturecentric Leadership
Views: 2443