A while back, at a previous church, I realized I had been making the wrong announcement for a month. Well, maybe not the wrong announcement, but taking the wrong approach.
We had a community outreach opportunity coming up, and one of the key elements for pulling it off was having church members fill eggs with candy. But, too late in the process, I realized we could have been encouraging our members to fill eggs AND invite people from our community. Simple enough, right?
Part of leadership is realizing and admitting you make mistakes. Some mistakes, like failing to emphasize the inviting nature of an outreach event, are relatively minor, something we might consider to be simply missed opportunities. Other mistakes carry consequences, like hesitating to schedule an event and losing the opportunity to make it the best possible as a result.
So, today, how do we overcome mistakes or missed opportunities? Here are 3 things I have learned over the years.
- Admit It. More than likely everyone knows you made a mistake, so admit it. Few things are more difficult than following a leader who never admits to doing anything wrong. Admitting mistakes is a sign of maturity, humility and humanity.
- Own It. There is a slight difference between admitting you made a mistake and owning your mistake, but there’s a difference. When we learn to own our mistakes, we take responsibility for the new course we are on. When we take ownership of the mistake, we are then able to evaluate and move forward.
- Grow From It. Most people would prefer to follow someone who admits their mistakes, but few people will continue to follow a leader who always makes mistakes. Learn from the mistakes you make by evaluating what you could do differently, and fix it the next time.
The bottom line is this: you will make mistakes. Everyone does. You will miss opportunities. Everyone does. But what you do on the back side is what will set you apart as a leader.
Grow in your leadership today. Learn from your mistakes and missed opportunities.