On occasion, I’ve been accused of having a decent intuition about people. I can think of two people, in particular, where a few years down the road a friend came back and said I was correct in my first impressions. Unfortunately, in both situations, they were negative impressions.
But for every time I’ve been correct, there are plenty examples of when I’ve been wrong.
I’ve invested in a student to train them as a leader, only to watch them drift a couple years down the road.
I’ve encouraged a student because I saw leadership potential, only to realize I was missing a key element.
I’ve done things I thought would be a hit, only to have them fall flat.
I had a conversation recently with someone about an upcoming event. They were expressing concern about the potential turnout. It was a great conversation, and we left it at “it’s okay to try something.”
Then the event happened, and it far exceeded their expectations. They were wrong, and it was energizing.
The same is true for us as leaders. Over time we develop a certain intuition, and if we’re not careful, that intuition can lead us to carrying a jaded mindset. We expect the worst, then we’re not upset by not reaching what we hoped.
But it’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to want more and be disappointed. It’s okay to swing big and miss on occasion. The error comes when the fear of being wrong keeps us from acting or from working as hard as we know we need to work.
What’s holding you back today? Where have you been wrong in the past week? Did it affect your attitude? Were you overly optimistic or overly pessimistic? How can you grow from the experience?