My first mistake of the day was to forget to take our puppy Cody out for a last pee before I put him to bed at 12:15 AM earlier today. He decided, instead, that it would be better to pee on the carpet in front of his crate than on the carpet in his crate. I got to spend an extra few minutes cleaning up the mess before I got to bed. I’m sure this won’t be my only blunder for the next 24 hours.

Call them errors, missteps, failures, gaffes, screw-ups or boo-boos, we are all going to make our share of them today and everyday. What we learn from them makes the difference between whether we merely bounce back (clean up the pee) or bounce forward (take Cody outside so he can do his business there.)

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Julian Birkinshaw and Martine Haas talked about maximizing your “return on failure,” by (1) learning something from every failure (2) sharing the lessons with others in your organization and (3) reviewing your pattern of failure to make certain that you are not making the same mistakes over and over and are learning from each error.

Don’t be discouraged or get mad about your missteps and failures. Taking a careful assessment of what happened and what you can do differently will bring about a better result next time.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2016


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