Learning from Mistakes

One of the best things you can do is to learn from other people’s experiences, including their mistakes. Learning from others and their mistakes is certainly a good and necessary habit for leaders.

Someone put it this way …

Learn from the mistakes of others — you can never live long enough to make them all yourself.

But while we want to learn from the mistakes of others, it would be a big mistake to miss out on some of our greatest potential for learning — our own mistakes. “Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.” (Tom Peters)

Now, I don’t like making mistakes, but the reality is, I make (and will continue to make) a lot of mistakes. That’s life. Hopefully, though, I will also learn from my mistakes. If I do, what I learn may very well be some of my best learnings.

Learning from my mistakes will help me to grow and develop as a leader. And if I don’t learn from my mistakes, I will miss out on a lot of learning.

A quote by Tom Peters has challenged me for years to be willing to making mistakes in order to learn and move forward …

Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.

Too often when we fail we quit, but if we would keep moving forward, and make adjustments based on what we’re learning in the process, we will be much more likely to succeed.

2 thoughts on “Learning from Mistakes”

  1. This is so true Randy! I have learned the greatest lessons in life through my failures and mistakes. 🙂 I have also learned that effective leaders also allow others to fail and to learn from their mistakes.

  2. Good point, Kevin.

    I should also add that it really takes a healthy attitude to be able to learn from one’s own mistakes. If you take failure personally, it will be hard (if not impossible) to learn from it. It takes a healthy attitude as well as persistence!


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