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Senior Correspondent

The problem with people is imperfection. 

People make mistakes — sometimes big ones. Leaders and managers usually don’t like mistakes. 

Michael Hyatt gave me his version of fail fast, yesterday: “The faster we fail the faster we learn.” The potential benefit of failure doesn’t mean, however, that we intentionally seek or enjoy it. 

It’s one thing when you fail; it’s another when your team members fail. 

When Team Members Screw Up

1. You’re responsible, even though you didn’t do it. Embarrassment!
2. It costs money. Frustration!
3. Efficiency falls. Disappointment!

On dealing with the mistakes of others, Michael Hyatt says:

“Create distance between the failure and how you feel; if you’re tired, stressed, or angry, wait.”

Michael’s comments reminded me of something a corporate executive recently told me when I shared my frustrations regarding the performance of a leader. “Dan, everything you just said was about you.” Kapow! Dang, that stung.

Frustration makes us focus on ourselves. 

Don’t deal with the failure of others until you can do it with their best interests in mind; create distance first so you can connect later.

Hyatt went on to say, “The first issue isn’t mistakes but ownership. People who own their mistakes learn and grow.”

People who don’t own their mistakes blame and excuse. In this case, leaders deal with blaming before dealing with mistakes. Ownership says, “We’re in this together.” Blame says, “It’s not my fault.” Deal with blaming before dealing with mistakes.

The biggest mistake is making an excuse or blaming someone else.

How do you deal with the mistakes of others?

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