Making the Most of Our Mistakes

Today, we’re going to talk about all your mistakes!

Just kidding! We’re actually going to talk about how to make the most of your mistakes! John, as well as any successful leader, will tell you that if you’re going to be successful, you need to stop fearing failure. Sometimes mistakes teach us our greatest lessons. That’s why we need to start thinking of our mistakes as assets, not liabilities.

After John teaches how to make the most of our mistakes, Mark Cole and Traci Morrow join to discuss times when they’ve made the most of their mistakes and how to apply the principles from John’s lesson into your own life and leadership.

Our BONUS resource for this episode is the Making the Most of Our Mistakes Worksheet, which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.

READ THE TRANSCRIPT

Mark Cole:       Welcome to the John Maxwell Leadership Podcast, the podcast that adds value to leaders who multiply value to others. My name is Mark Cole, and today, we're going to talk about all your mistakes. Okay, here's John. Nah, I'm just kidding. Today we're going to talk about how to make the most of your mistakes. John, as well as any successful leader, will tell you that if you're going to be successful, you need to stop fearing failure. In fact, it was Ariana Huffington that said, "Failure is not the opposite of success. It's part of success." Sometimes mistakes teach us our greatest lessons. That's why we need to start thinking of our mistakes not as liabilities, but as assets.

After John's lesson I and my co-host, Traci Morrow, will be back to discuss John's lesson and offer some application on how you can apply this lesson to your leadership. Every episode, we offer a free fill-in-the-blank worksheet that we call the Bonus Resource. If you would like to download that PDF, go to maxwellpodcast.com/mistake. Click the Bonus Resource button and you will be able to follow along. Now, here is Dr. John C. Maxwell.

John Maxwell:  How do we make the most out of our mistakes? Number one, stop fearing mistakes. Hubbard was right when he said the greatest mistake one can make in life is to be continually fearing that you will make one. So let's work with that right now. Look at your neighbor right now and tell them that they're going to make a mistake. Go ahead and tell them that.

Audience:         You're going to make a mistake.

John Maxwell:  Feels good, doesn't it? Feels good. Feels good. Huh? Huh? I love it. Listen to them. Listen to them. See, you didn't just tell your neighbor that they're going to make a mistake. You're now telling them what the mistakes are that they made. I mean, see, it's wonderful. See, it's a therapy. You just tell them and then all of a sudden you say, "And by the way, if you don't know what it is, there's these three things I have noticed in your life."

No, no. In fact, you can look at your neighbor and say, "You've already made a mistake. You're sitting beside me." All right. Okay. Now what I'm saying here, it's a fun little exercise. But basically what I'm saying is we're always going to make mistakes. So it's like failure 101. We don't need to have a class on how to keep from failing. We need to have a class on how to get back up. We don't need to have a class on how to quit making mistakes. We're always going to make mistakes. It's how to handle them.

So what I did to help you get a handle on, I sat down a few days ago and I did this acrostic on what are mistakes. Remember the one I did, I think I gave you the one maybe several lessons ago on problems, what's a problem? The letter P are predictors, reminders. Okay. Watch this. Well, this was one on mistakes. The letter M stands for their messages. There are messages that give us feedback about life. The letter I, interruptions. There are interruptions that should cause us to reflect and think.

The letter S is their sign post. They direct us, if we allow them, to the right path. The letter T is that they are tests. All mistakes are test that are designed to make us mature. The letter A in mistakes is they are awakenings. Mistakes are awakenings, I love this, that keep us mentally in the game. When we get a little bit slothful, isn't that true? And say, "Uh-oh, get back in it." Now, the letter K, they are keys. They are keys that we try when unlocking the next door of opportunity. Boy, isn't that the truth? You're just taking that key up to the door and you're saying, "There may be some mistakes in here because I've never been here before. This is new territory." The letter E, they are explorers. They are explorers that allow us to journey where we have never been before. And the letter S is, the last letter S, they are statements. They are statements about our development and our progress.

Now, let me ask you a question. Now, stay right there. Don't leave that acrostic for a moment. Let me ask you a question. How would you like to get feedback from life, reflect and think, be directed to the right path, become mature through life itself, keep mentally in the game, unlock the door for your next opportunity, take a journey where you've never been before, and develop and progress in your life? How many of you would like to do that? Everyone of us.

Now, did you notice what? The only way you can ever do it is through making mistakes. See the moment you see mistakes in the right perspective, do you see what good friends they become of you? Doesn't this make sense? Embrace them. Embrace them instead of fear them. That's all this lesson's about. Stop fearing mistakes. And I thought I'd give you the acrostics so you could ... Look, you could memorize that. Three minutes and you've got that memorized. Then you can go through life and you can have that. It's a handle for you that'll really help you down the road.

I love this last quote in your notes, before I go to number two, "If I had my life to live over again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner." My dad told me the other day. He said, "John, my problem is I'm getting old too fast and learning too slow." Well, you know what he's basically saying, if I knew back then what I knew now, boy, could I have done it right. But that's life. That's the way it is. So don't fear mistakes.

Number two, the second thing I would say about making the most out of your mistakes is don't make the biggest mistake of all, doing nothing. Wayne Gretzky was right when he said, "You miss 100% of the shots that you never take." The number one characteristic of a leader is that leaders have the ability to make things happen. Now let me tell you something. You cannot have the ability to make things happen and have a fear of mistakes at the same time. I promise you one will paralyze the other. And Brocknow was right when he said, "The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does."

Number three, you're ready to go on. Number three, learn from the mistakes of others. In other words, watch other people and watch their mistakes and learn from it. Learn from the mistakes of others. I love this quote. "You can never live long enough to make them all yourself." Now, to impress others, tell them about your successes and how you achieve them. To impact others, tell them about your mistakes and how you fixed them. Two different worlds, two completely different worlds. In teaching leadership seminars, I have found that when I talk about my mistakes, there's something that impacts them like nothing else. Haven't you gone to seminars before, or listened to the tape, or read a book somewhere where it depressed you because the person seemed to do so well and live so high at that you said, "I could never achieve that. I could never be there. I'll never make it." But the moment we began to open up with transparency, there's a relatedness that we have with our people that make all the difference.

Number four, focus on progress, not mistakes. If you're gonna focus on something, focus on the progression that you're making, not the mistakes that you're making. Teddy Roosevelt said, "He who makes no mistakes makes no progress." In Apples of Gold, a mistake at least proves that somebody stopped talking long enough to do something. Abraham Lincoln. I love his line. He said, "The person who is incapable of making a mistake is incapable of anything." Now here's a question for every leader, it's in your notes and I want you to think about it. Do you want progress or perfection the most? Now this is not either/or. I'm just saying what do you want? Do you want to go through life making no mistakes? Or do you want to go through life making progress?

Number five, the fifth thing on making the most out of our mistakes, number five is focus on the future. In fact, I believe that it's better to make new mistakes than is to repeat old ones. And you make new mistakes when you're beginning to forge out into the future. One of the greatest sports writers was a man by the name of Grantland Rice. He was kind of the Jim Murray of his day. And in his autobiography, The Tumult And The Shouting, here's what Grantland Rice said about past mistakes.

He says, "Because golf exposes the flaws of the human swing, a basically simple maneuver, it causes more self-torture than any game short of Russian roulette. The quicker the average golfer can forget the shot he has dubbed or knocked off line and concentrate on the next shot, the sooner he begins to improve and enjoy golf. Like life, golf can be humbling. However, little good comes from brooding about mistakes that we've made. It's the next shot, in golf or in life, that is the big one." Isn't that true? But here's what I believe. Here's what I do believe. I believe that when we let our past mistakes cause us to quit focusing upon our future, we begin to hurt ourselves. And that's just basically how to learn the most out of mistakes in life.

Number six, don't make the same mistake twice. You see, Paul "Bear" Bryant was right when he said, "When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it. One, admit it. Two, learn from it. And three, don't repeat it." Dr. Mayo said, "Lord deliver me from the man who never makes a mistake, and also from the man who makes the same mistake twice." Two kind of people you want to avoid, ones who never make because they never do anything, and the person who keeps doing the same thing over and over and over again.

Heard a cute story about two guys who are watching a Western on TV. The hero is on the horse and he is going toward the edge of the cliff. And one guy says to the other guy, "I'll bet you $50 that he goes over the edge of that cliff." And the guy says, "You're on." And sure enough, the hero goes over the edge of the cliff. Well, the one guy's getting ready to pay the $50. And one guy says, "I got to admit." He said, "I can't collect your 50." He said, "This is a rerun. I've seen this before." He said, "I knew what was going to happen." The guy who lost the bet, he said, "It's okay." He said, "I've seen the rerun before too. I just didn't think the guy would do the same thing twice. I just can't believe that he'd make the same mistake again." Isn't that a great story?

Number seven, which is my favorite point of the whole lesson because I believe this with all my heart. The size of the person, not the size of his mistakes, determines success or failure. I've known people to make some pretty big mistakes and turn around and do well. I learned a long time ago it's not the size of the mistake. It's the size of the person. See, a big man is not one who makes no mistakes. He's just one who's bigger than any mistakes that he makes. You see, we must be big enough to admit our mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.

Number eight, evaluate your mistakes and respond accordingly. Evaluate your mistakes. In other words, when you make them, sit down and look at them. "Forget your mistakes," as one quote says, "But remember what they taught you." What I did to help us evaluate our mistakes is I wrote down here five questions we ought to ask about every mistake that we make. And it's processed for you. Question number one. What was the mistake? It all starts with the identification of what the mistake was. Well, question number one is the obvious. It's the outward.

Question number two is inward. Why did I make it? You need to stop long enough with a mistake and say, "Okay, I see I made this. Now what made me make this mistake? What triggered this? What caused me?" That's very important. In fact, I'm going to tell you something, until you an answer two correctly, the other three won't really matter. So we just have to take some time and say, "Why am I making this mistake in my life?"

Number three, how can I fix it? Now that I've made it, let's get on the positive side and ask how can I fix it? Number four, what did I learn from it? What did I stop and learn from it? And number five, how can I teach this to someone else? How can I turn around and pass this on to someone else. Because here's what I learned a long time ago. If we can learn from our mistakes and teach it someone else, they profit greatly by it. Never, never be afraid as a leader to share with people.

Let me tell you something. I did that wrong one time. Let me share with you why I did it wrong. Let me share with you the process, and they learn so much out of it. In fact, one of the things I do with anybody that I work with is I try never to give them answers without explaining process. Now, this is very important when you work with people. Now, it's easiest just to give answers. It's quickest just to give answers. But if they don't understand process and decision-making, what happens at that point is that they will never know the motives or the reasons why the decision is made, and they'll never learn to be able to make decisions for you until you teach them the process. So the moment you tell them why you make a decision, then they can make decisions for you after a while because they now begin to see all that is behind the decision-making itself.

Okay, number nine, use your mistakes to take you to a higher level. The goal, obviously, when you make a mistake is that you want to grow from it. That's why I put in my quote, "Our attitude toward our mistakes will determine our attitude after the mistakes are made." A hundred years ago, Ivory Soap mistakenly aerated their soap. It was a mistake. They just put too much air in their soap, and they got it out of the factory, and it started floating. And pretty soon, the demand came in for that floating soap because if you dropped it in the tub, you could find it. You knew where it was. Well, classic example of a mistake that they profited from.

Here's what I believe about all of our mistakes. I believe that if we have the right attitude towards them, they do have the ability to take us up to a new level. They either become a stepping stone or a stumbling block. Isn't that true in your life and in my life? They approach Gandhi one time, one of his disciples, one of his followers, and said, "Gandhi, I don't understand you." He said, "You said something last week, and this week, you said something quite different." And Gandhi said, "It's because I've learned something since last week." As long as I learn from my mistakes and let mistakes be my friend, not my enemy, I can tell you it'll take me to a higher level. And that's my goal for every one of you. Let's step up to a higher level and learn from the mistakes and make the most out of them for our life, for our family, and for our business.

Mark Cole:       Welcome back. John has delivered, yet again, an incredible reminder and encouragement to me as a leader. And so Traci, I'm really glad to have you with me today to kind of unpack this. I don't know. I don't know. Maybe we could just spend the entire time talking about all of our failures and have people really understand that leadership is a big blooper reel. But it really is good to have you. And I'm excited to unpack this with you. Welcome.

Traci Morrow:  Oh, thank you. I'm kind of excited to unpack this. No, I am excited to unpack it. At first, I thought, friends, I thought, oh gosh, I hope this isn't a lesson to me. Why did I get chosen to talk about mistakes on the one week? Friends, I have to fall on my sword and tell you, this week I was supposed to be on an important call with Mark. And what did I do? I made a mistake and I had it on my calendar at the wrong time.

And so there I was, just not doing anything, missed the call. And so I made a big blunder this week, and Mark was gracious to forgive me. But this, I know that this message hit home for some of us today. I know it hit home for me. And learning that, I would say for me, one of the big pieces as a leader, just as a human being, is learning to be okay with mistakes. Was that something for you, Mark? I feel like for me, learning to understand that mistakes are a part of life, they're a part of leadership, and that it is a part of success, that was something that was really tough for me to learn. Was that hard for you to learn or was that okay for you?

Mark Cole:       No, it's very hard. And what's frustrating is it's still hard.

Traci Morrow:  I know.

Mark Cole:       I have found immaturity, Traci, specifically in leadership, there's really, I don't know. I think there's about four phases of failure in a leader. First is the pretend you didn't fail. Hopefully nobody noticed. I messed up, but hopefully nobody just saw that right there. And so we have this pretend I didn't fail kind of mindset. And we're kids. We're young. We're just getting started with leadership and we have this, "I'm pretending I'm not failing."

The next thing is we try to deal with failure positively. We try to go, "Oh man, I failed, but I'm trying to get better. I'm just trying to get better." And then I think we go through this failure process that John teaches us in his book Failing Forward. And that's where we try to create optimistic return on the failure. I think the final thing, and I want to just take a couple of minutes Traci, and tell you about a recent conversation John and I had about failure.

But this fourth area is where we anticipate failure. We kind of get excited about failure. And it was with this mindset that John and I had a recent conversation. It all started, I was incredibly honored to be a part of a PBS interview about failure. Speaking of being chosen, when somebody calls you and says, "Hey, we want to interview you about failure." We go, "Okay, the secret's out. I am a failure."

Traci Morrow:  Thank you. Thank you.

Mark Cole:       Yes. Thank you, I think. And but it was in this interview that this thought hit me that, as oftentimes happens, you give John a simple little thought and then he makes a simple thing so layered in its application. But here's the thought. What if we started seeing failure like we see our time, and like we see our money? In other words, when we put money into ... We're at the beginning of the year. When we put money into an investment, you know what we're after? A return on investment. When we spend time on something, we, as leaders, we're always looking, "What's the return on my time?"

What if we looked at failure as if it needed an ROF, a return on failure? If we realize that in every failure, there was this return that we could get. Now, John's now taught publicly, in public settings, three times this idea of a return on failure. In fact, the last time he taught it was in San Francisco, and he said, "I'm going to write a book on it." So I'm not going to go deep into what John did there, but I am going to tell you something that occurred to me when this idea of return on failure hit me.

What if we all realized that failure was a part of leadership? It's a part of it. It's a part of life. It's a part of leadership. It's a part of getting better. Now we go into risk, we go into audacious dream, dreams being chased, with this concept. I'm going to fail. It's going to happen. What is going to be my ROF? What is going to be my return on failure? And then I came up with this idea, and John is going to take this and make it better too, I'm quite sure. But what if we looked at failure in four categories? What if we looked at it first as to get a return on failure, fail first. Now I wish I could tell my 20-year-old self, "Hey, Mark, be the first one to fail."

I wanted to be the first one to not fail. Everybody else around me, fail. Let me learn from them. I don't want to fail. What if we said, "Hey, I want to fail first because I know that failure is the way to success. So therefore, the quicker I fail at something that's bigger than me, the quicker I can accomplish something that's bigger than me." Let's fail first.

What if number two, we tried to fail fast? Hey, I'm going to get this failure thing and I want to get to it. So many times, we're in the middle of failing, and rather than admit we're failing, we try to cover it up and prolong the failure. What if we just went, "Boom, I'm failing." And we fail fast, admit it fast, and can get on with the lesson rather than prolonging the failure and living in the failure. Just fail fast.

Thirdly, why don't we fail frequently? So many times I felt like, "Oh, I'm going to fail once in my life. It better be a doozy." Or, "That's the last time I'm going to fail." And we make these decisions as if a leader only fails once and then he grows up. She is now wise and she failed and it will never happen again. Well, it's not worked like that for me. If it has for you listening and watching today, kudos. I think we need to realize along the path of leadership, failure is going to happen, but it's going to happen frequently if we're trying big enough things.

And then the final thing, this comes straight from John, is fail forward. Never fall backward, never fail in retreat, but fail always with anticipation that there's something big around the corner. So yeah, to answer your question, I wish my 52-year-young self. Yes, I said young. Could tell my 22-year-old self because I thought I knew everything as a 22-year-old that, "Hey, it's okay. You're going to fail. Just get a return on it." I think life would've been a lot better.

Traci Morrow:  I agree. I agree. And where do we get that from? I don't know if we just perceived it, and I don't know if there are so many of you who are driving to work or going into an appointment right now, or just listening in the privacy of your home, and you're listening to this. But I know when John said ... He had his audience that he was speaking to at the time say it to each other. But I want you to say it to yourself in the car or wherever you're listening right now. And I want you to take a moment just right now and say it out loud. I'm going to make mistakes. Just do me a favor and say that right now.

Mark Cole:       I'm going to make mistakes.

Traci Morrow:  I'm going to make mistakes. And I think there are so many people. I know that it's been me, and I've been a leader long enough of others, and I know you have as well, Mark, long enough to know that there are some people who are really frozen, fearful of making a mistake for some reason, either of what that meant when they were a kid in their home, either because something that that happened to them in school or in a job, or somewhere where maybe even it wasn't how they felt is maybe their job, or their parent, or their teacher, or a coach. Someone made them feel foolish or dumb or terrible, or a failure even, because they failed. And so, because of that time, because of the mistake that they made, and it might have even been a doozy, my friend. You might be listening today and you made a doozy of a mistake. And for some reason you can't get past that to make future mistakes.

Like, "Oh, Mark, and Traci, and John, you don't know the mistake I made. You don't know this mistake." And there is no clarifying mistake that's like, "Well, if you make this mistake, you can't move forward." No, the four rules Mark just gave us, the four failing forward steps, fail first, fail fast, fail frequently, fail forward that Mark just gave us, that's for anyone, no matter what kind of doozies you've made in the past. We can always fail forward.

But Mark, was there a time in your life? Because I think all of us in our past could go back to a place in our life where we had a failure that either embarrassed us, shamed us, made us feel really bad or dumb. Was there a time in your life where it clicked for you? Was it a mistake that you made that you realized, "Wow, the fear of that mistake was far worse than the actual consequence of that mistake," that helped you move forward? Or was it just kind of a maturing process of several mistakes that you realized you kind of talked yourself through it?

Mark Cole:       Yeah. I love this question, Traci, because there are several mistakes that took the sting out of failure. It really is. I think of one. I tell the story. I think I've told it on this podcast. I'm sure that I have of before I started working with John because of some colossal series of failures and mistakes, I found myself counting potato chips. My poverty line was a bag of potato chips. If I could afford a bag of potato chips. I could count them out and make those potato chips last an entire week if I did my math right and if I kept my appetite in check. I started with John Maxwell's organization truly counting out potato chips to make bags of potato chips last a week. I had nothing, literally nothing, bankrupt, no money.

I wasn't bankrupt. I paid all my bills and all that. I didn't have to declare myself bankrupt. But I truly was bankrupt relationally, financially, emotionally. And I've come to realize that money, and having money in the account is nice, but it is not essential. In other words, I take risks now, financially. Just recently in the last couple of years, we've bet everything in a belief that we can make our future bigger, better, brighter. And I will be honest with you. I signed these documents. I've mortgaged. I did all this stuff. And I don't even think about it. I'm like, "I've lost everything before. There's a rebound in me."

And so I never want to lose that and allow acquired possessions to stop me from risking those for the future and the betterment of others around me. And so that would be one example, when you go through that. And I was there because of some mistakes. I did not have to go the destitute route. I made mistakes to get there. But one of my takeaways from that is monetary possessions and financial gain is nothing but a tool to do greater impact. It is not a controlling mechanism to stop me from risking greater impact in the future.

Traci Morrow:  I think it's critical to point out here, crucial to point out here to our listeners. I think they can hear you say that and think ... Maybe they're assuming. I'm going to make an assumption here. You might be listening and think, "Oh, Mark Cole can do that. He has the means to make those big steps and mortgage his house, or buy all-in and not think about it because there's a big safety net underneath there." But what you're saying is you have actually taken away the safety net when you do those things. You aren't leaving little safety net. You are going all-in on something. And these are big deals and big all-ins. And you don't just wake up one day and you get to go big all-in. It starts in the potato chip counting days when you don't have a whole lot. And you go all-in when there isn't a whole lot to lose, but it's kind of saving your face, saving skin, saving your reputation, and what your parents might think, or your family might think, or your reputation.

And those little steps that you took back then when you didn't have a lot to lose but food for the week built your security, your confidence to where you can get to that place today. So I think there are probably listeners who might downplay those risks that you take to go all-in. And I don't think we can do that fairly without understanding that it's been a whole process to get you there.

So I'm thinking now, let's say we have people who, let's flip it a little bit. Maybe they're leading people who are frozen with the fear of making mistakes. And if they don't know their people well enough, which it's really important that we know the people that we lead, they might not understand what is holding them back. Those fears that are maybe rooted in childhood and rooted in something in young adulthood that have them gripped with fear from making a mistake in their professional life. So can you talk a little bit to leaders who are leading people, or maybe a whole group of people in their organization, who are gripped with fear and who aren't taking necessary steps or risks in their professional lives that are necessary in order for the team to move forward? How does a leader move the team forward if they're gripped with fear of mistakes?

Mark Cole:       I think that you really got to grasp what John's saying in point number two. Don't make the biggest mistake of all, which is doing nothing. I love what you said. There is no safety net when you're going all-in. That defies the whole concept of being all-in, pot committed. There's no safety net. I'm out if this doesn't work. Somebody else has to come and step in because I couldn't make it work. And I think that we've got to get that mindset because oftentimes, we risk what we can manage rather than risk what we can't manage. And when we risk what we can't manage, that's all-in, and that's making a decision. I'm not going to sit here and do nothing. And I think that's the biggest thing, Traci, to capture in this lesson is what is it ...

John, in the middle of this lesson that he's talking right now, he said he was asked the question a long time ago, "What would you try if you knew failure wasn't an option?" What a great question. Remember that? You've asked that question. It's one of those questions. "What's the two greatest days of a person's life?" It's one of those rhetorical questions we've heard over and over again. What would you risk if you knew failure wasn't an option? Or what would you try? John said, "I've got a better question for us. What would you risk if you knew failure was going to happen, but you would learn from it?" Oh, oh. So there's something so big that I can go in and calculate. I'm probably not going to make it, but it's going to be okay.

That's the mindset that we're after because I believe back to this quote I used at the very beginning, "Failure is not the opposite of success. It's part of success." Ariana. That is exactly right. Ariana Huffington had it right. Success and failure are not opposite. They are codependent. For you to really be successful in your life is going to mean how big you are in your failures. John said it, what was it? Point number seven says, "Remember that the size of the person, not the size of her mistakes determines success or failure." Failure is not failure if you become better in the middle of it. Or failure is not final if you become better in the middle of the experience. That one thing, if I could release all of you from feeling like failure is final and failure is defining of who you are. I believe those are the two greatest sources of fear that stops people from trying something so big, that failure is probable.

Traci Morrow:  I agree. I agree. Well, I will let you close this out, but I just wanted to give one more encouragement to our friends. Whether you're watching or listening, you might be having your mind blown a little bit. And a little bit of fear is creeping in like, "Dare I believe this. Dare I trust John enough to take me to this next place." And I just want to encourage you. His last point was allow your mistakes to take you to the next level, your attitude about your mistakes. Forgive yourself. Leave it in the past. It's in the past, leave it there. Don't carry it into your future, friends. And let this be something that really ... Your attitude, let it, let it determine the altitude of where you go, friends. We're for you.

Mark Cole:       So many of you ... Thanks, Traci. So many of you are listening to this and going, "Wow, when's John's book on return on failure coming out? I need that." And guess what? You're going to have to wait. But I know out of literally thousands of new listeners and viewers every single week, I know that there's new people out there to John's world. And there's a book that he's written on this that I believe will really help you. One is, it's right behind Traci, right there. She's got it all set up for us. But it's also this book I'm holding in my hands. Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn. And really, it helps with the attitude, the perspective with which we deal with failure. I've asked our team, if you would give them a discount, if the team would give you a discount as the podcast family, and they have.

And so in the show notes, we're going to include a link to be able to order this book, Sometimes you win, Sometimes You Learn. We're going to give you a 15% discount when you use the keyword podcast. So make sure that you put that in there for the discount that you will receive. I will tell you, I would recommend you buy half a dozen, a dozen, and resource your team with a perspective, especially those of you that are trying audacious [inaudible 00:36:25] things in 2022. Get your team to understand failure is not final. And that's the way to do that.

There's two other episodes that I want to encourage you to listen to and point you toward that will help you with the same subject matter. One is Redefining Failure. It's a podcast we did not too long ago. And then the other is Failure Is not Final. Both of those podcast links can be found in the show note.

And really, here's what we're trying to explain to you today. Our standout statement is this. Fail forward. Make something happen that is so big that when it doesn't work out exactly how you want it to, you're big enough to stand that test. Hey, we have always, over the last few weeks, we've been highlighting listener comments or listener questions. And today is no exception. Your feedback, your passing the podcast along to others, is the fuel that gets Traci and I up on days like today, excited to come in here because we see and sense and smell and taste and can actually experience impact that's happening.

And so today, our encouragement, which I hope encourages you, it comes from Duncan. Duncan asked a question. He says, "I'm an avid listener of the podcast. My question today is I've been an average achiever over the years. I've been afraid to try new things. What I do is get good at many things, then lose interest." I understand, Duncan. Me and you buddy. He said, "My new role at work is a visionary. So how, as a visionary, do I step up to the next level and focus on one thing at a time, which again, is very hard for me?"

And Duncan, I'm going to take just a moment because you took time to write in and I'm going to do my best to answer that. One is I have the squirrel mentality too. Every new shiny object kind of distracts me. And I'm now responsible not for implementing John's vision, but to collaborate with vision and to cast that. And so I start out, we're in February now, but I start out and I start the year off strong and focused, and I'm ready to go. And then by about now, the five essential things to my 2022 success seem so outdated. And yet I've got to stay the course.

Two things that I do very, very intentionally. One is I get very clear on what the vision is. As a visionary, I don't think you tell them what you thought about last night after a night of pizza and staying up all night. Be sure it is vision. The way I do that, I'm a person of faith. I really settle it in my walk. And in my year-end review, this is the vision for the year. And I get it really settled so that it's bigger than I. I get accountability in people like John.

The second thing is that I get accountability. So I pull the key people in my life, my key leaders, my key advisors, and I bring them in say, "This is the vision. Hold me accountable to it. And if I begin to deviate or quit reminding people of the vision, remind me of my own vision." Because being settled that it really is the vision, that it is what needs to be focused on, and getting accountability and advisors is the way, Duncan, that I, much like you, the squirrel chaser, that's how I keep the visions fresh. That's how I keep it focused. And that's how I keep it in front of the organization.

Hey, if like Duncan, you are an avid listener or a first-time listener, give us a little shout out. Let us know how this is impacting you. Let us know how we can make it better. Pass this along to somebody else. Traci, thank you. John Maxwell, thank you. All of our producers and friends here in the studio today, thank you for making this possible. You, podcast family, you leader, listener of the podcast, don't forget. Let's listen. Let's learn. Let's love. Let's lead. We'll see you again next week.

8 thoughts on “Making the Most of Our Mistakes”

    1. Hi Alan,

      Sorry you’re having trouble downloading the Bonus Resource. I’m happy to assist. Can’t you please explain what happens when you try to download?

  1. Good afternoon,

    I always download the podcast to listen on my way to my work. Unfortunately I can’t find the link.
    How can I download the podcast?

    1. Hi Ed!

      In order to prevent copyright infringement and unauthorized duplication of the podcast, we have recently removed the option to download the file locally to a device. The best alternative is to find us on Apple Podcasts or another podcast service and download the episode from there. This will make the episode available on your device even when you’re offline and will not require the use of data after it is downloaded. Please let us know if we can assist you further.

  2. The podcasts always seem to hit a complete homerun every time. I lead a team of 70+ team members. Had a ride along with my leadership and we had identified some short comings. This podcast came at the absolute perfect time and completely reinforced my prior days conversations with leadership.
    Keep them coming! How about twice a week 🙂

    1. Hi Benjie, you can find the bonus resource button just below the video on this page. Please let us know if you need to help locating it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.