Dear Startup: It Is Ok To Make Mistake and Failure

People tend to associate mistake and failure. In fact, it is acceptable to take one step back and two steps forward, as long as we keep going. As Thomas Alfa Edison said: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

When we decided to pursue anything that you are passionate or care about, we are destined to face failure. It is such a mandatory journey or golden ticket for our success. We obliged to learn to embrace mistake and failure, not as our flaw, but as an obstacle that you can and should overcome.

Mistake are basically a learning experience of what didn’t work. In fact, exposing our self to risk, mistake, and failure can help to push us up the career ladder. Just make sure someone’s supervising.

If we finally decided to stop at the next obstacle, then the journey has finished. Yet, if we decided to do the otherwise and face another failure, with persistence, we will succeed. It just a matter of time.

Virgin CEO Richard Branson recount his own story during his 48-year career from owner of a small student newspaper to the head of a multinational company that noting that every error left in judgement, whether a foray into cosmetics or a push into the high stakes cola market, brought with it valuable lessons.

He said that he will repeat the same mistake by thinking that all large companies are sleepy. He told about his failed attempt to break the Coca-Cola and PepsiCo duopoly.

Learning to use mistakes well is an important in leadership journey. In fact, looking at how an executive responds to failure can be more telling than assessing their success when weighing up someone’s ability to take on the leadership role.  Great leaders learn from their mistake.

They are fast to recognize when a mistake has been made and are able to assess what can be gained from these mistake and failure. In many cases, feedback is really important for anyone to take the lessons from it, especially for startup.

Give Spaces for Mistake to Happen

At every stage of their career, high performers like Branson are always prepared to take on assignments or challenges that have a probability of failure. Living outside their comfort zone definitely exposes them to a risk, as well as brings growth and opportunity to develop new leadership abilities.

By continually placed in a situation where you the risk is minimum, when bad things happen, our ability to learn and recover is reduced. Although there is the need to be careful when taking on risk, we also have to be strategic about it, taking sufficient risk to grow while avoiding catastrophic failures that will destroy us. And make sure that when we bounce back, people recognize you have learned valuable lessons.

Admit Our Mistake When This is Happen

When turning mistake and failure into opportunity, the first step is accepting accountability. It’s too often that when projects don’t go as planned, managers will look around for someone out of their control on which to lay the blame and micromanage. Good leaders can admit when they were wrong.

By accepting mistake, they can show that they have a willingness to try new things. They are able to emphasize lessons learned and implement steps to prevent the mistake happening again. In this way they are able to turn mistakes into a opportunity, and show what they are capable of.

Mistake and Failure Help You Up Career Ladder

Being a standout in your current role isn’t enough to secure your promotion or future success. In fact, it could be an obstacle. Strong performance can be an indicator of over confidence.

In fact, a research has shown that strong past performance can actually be a negative predictor of future performance. Executives have to show they can adapt to new positions and overcome obstacles if they want to up their career ladder.

Mistake Testing Our Learning Agility

It’s learning agility that separates high potential leaders from their equally high performing colleagues. A research shown that senior executives are promoted not based on their past success, but more into their learning agility.

This is very easy because there are two traits that actually be assessed: self-awareness, someone who is able to ask ‘How can I do better?’ and the ability to respond to change in several different situations.

As Bill Gates once noted, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Refer to this sayings, there are several lessons for every current and future leaders need to take: put yourself out there, don’t shy away from responsibility, make mistake, and learn from them. Because it’s the only way to truly test and prove yourself.

Want to get other interesting articles? Get useful insights only by reading the best articles from Talenta.

As an online HRIS software & payroll application, Talenta supports Indonesian businesses to survive by using automated payroll technology and cloud-based HR management. With continuous improvement, Talenta is continuously being developed to meet every need from remote and WFH situations.

The payroll process is made easier even during WFH. Talenta meets corporate needs during WFH with the latest integrated and real-time virtual presence features. Starting from managing work schedules, monitoring attendance management, calculating leave and overtime to automated payroll system.

Talenta can also be tailored to your industry, ranging from hospitality, manufacturing, retail & food services, professional services, to information technology.

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PUBLISHED05 Apr 2016
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