As children we are often scolded by our parents and teachers for doing something wrong or making mistakes. They don’t allow us to make mistakes and when we do, they ask us to be quiet about it.
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” — Sir Ken Robinson
Mistake is seen as a poison that is kept at the farthest corner of the rack so that we aren’t able to reach it. While we grow up mistakes become a part of our lives and we tend to hide it from others. This lesson taught by our parents and teachers grows in us like weeds and when we are in a situation to choose, we fail in fear of making mistakes.
Mistakes are manure. In order to grow they are necessary. In business, mistakes and challenges define the journey. They are the fuel that drives success. Handling mistakes requires patience. I haven’t read about any businesses that didn’t taste failures or errors. After my initial success of being a contractor, I was clueless about how to run a business. All I had was twenty years of goodwill and some looms. Finance and HR were my two enemies. Though I hired managers, the business suffered losses. There came a point when my business was about to shut down. I started reading and thinking extensively and realized that limitations are within ourselves. For my business to grow I had to be flexible and free flowing like water.
Own your mistakes
Our thoughts and beliefs are bound by external factors. In order to grow, learn from your mistakes, unlearn, speak about the lessons learned from it, own your mistakes and help others in the process.
Transformation occurs in moments of crisis. It is the courage to try that matters. When we gave our weavers a chance to design their own rugs, we knew about the risks involved but we decided to try anyway. Making mistakes is a part of the transformation process, after all. Three of our artisans were asked to design and weave a rug together. But they were not getting along with each other. So the patterns were not aligned. Later when they became friendly the patterns became harmonious. The Differences rug won the German design award in 2016. This made us understand the power of creativity and the worth of taking risks.
Leaders should give their employees a chance to make mistakes, we never know when they end up as masterpieces.