Mistakes go hand-in-hand with trust.
There is no such thing as an error-free human being. Mistakes are an inherent part of the change process, and we all make them. We make mistakes in our personal lives. We make mistakes as partners, spouses, and parents. We make mistakes at work as well.
Sometimes our mistakes are small ones. Sometimes they are quite large. I was recently talking with someone who told me that after she received her law degree and was admitted to the bar she “practiced law for three minutes.” The adversarial environment was not right for her. Major companies launch new brands, or new strategies, that fail. (For those of you who can remember 1985, think “New Coke.”)
Many years ago I unexpectedly ended up having lunch with Curt Carlson. Curt was, among other things, the founder of Ask Mr. Foster Travel and Radisson Hotels. His was a multi-billion dollar privately held empire. At the time, I was heading a team that was tasked with selecting a travel agency for an organization with a multi-million dollar travel budget, and Ask Mr. Foster was one of our final two candidates. While there are many stories (and lessons) that I can share from that experience, one stands out here. [Read more…]