I was at a presentation recently where one of the handouts included the following quote. I thought it was a great one to share:
“No one learns from success; you really only learn from your mistakes and failures.”
– John Rowland, former governor of Connecticut
I love it, because it’s the essence of what makes a good turnaround professional. Oh, no, no – those failures are long past. We’re in the business of succeeding where it was not done before us. But as I’m fond of saying, it’s the gray hair or no-hair ones who succeed in this business.
That’s because we’ve been around long enough to have seen so much. No, it’s not that we were failing and learning so many lessons from our mistakes (though we’ve all got some gems in there, I’m sure). It’s that we’ve had so much experience of our own and watching and learning from others’ mistakes and all of the business hullabaloo that goes on around us.
I’m going to encourage you to take some time to think about some of your mistakes and share them. This is a great team-building exercise and a great way to pass around your wisdom. I suggest that you ask every member of your team to think about and explain – to everyone else – one big mistake he or she made and what was learned from that mistake. You never know who’s going to need that wisdom to avoid a blunder that could cost your company big-time.
What lessons have you learned from your mistakes and failures?