Are Mistakes Really Learning Opportunities?

When people make a mistake, the failure can hit like a mental brick.

Even if the initial idea was brilliant, poor implementation or an unexpected result could turn positive energy into nothingness with remarkable speed.

We often think of leaders as the most successful people, but how did they learn how to be successful?

It comes from a mindset where making a mistake is a learning opportunity instead of a personal commentary about individualised failure.


Is It Possible to Teach Someone a Different Mindset?


There is a difference between incompetence and ignorance.

If you have an incompetent leader, the team and agency are likely to experience derailment. When hiring decisions get made today, multiple screening processes attempt to find the best person for the opening.

Those decisions often rely on educational backgrounds and previous work experiences.

When was the last time a hiring process looked at traits like honesty/ humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience?

Incompetence doesn’t have to come from a lack of practical experience. It can develop when someone overplays their personality traits for the job that needs to get filled.

Ignorance can cause a derailment, but it is a fixable situation.

When your organisation can develop training methodologies, outreach programs, external coaching, and mentoring, the learning lessons can lead to more consistency.


How to Stop Derailment Before It Starts


Since leadership is a teachable skill, the techniques to avoid derailment are also something that leaders can learn.

Although several factors could influence derailment possibilities, the issues surrounding identity, empathy, and flexibility stand out as commonalities.


What is the leader’s self-awareness?

Leaders who have an accurate understanding of their abilities and can honestly appraise their behaviour can often transition away from derailing moments. Although it sometimes takes a person some time and self-reflection to figure out where they belong, knowledge of individual strengths and weaknesses can create a path toward success


How does the leader build relationships?

Successful leaders build networks that help everyone succeed. Derailment sometimes appear when the goal is to make the leadership start growing at everyone else’s expense. Dynamic leaders must earn the loyalty and trust of their team. That means empathy, personal skill, and perceptiveness must be part of the relationship-maintaining equation.


Is the leader adaptable?

A clear derailment warning occurs when a leader focuses on the way things have always been instead of innovating. This behaviour indicates a fear of trying a different approach which means that an individual is afraid to transition through different changes to find a new, more lucrative journey to follow.

Derailment might be common when leaders are faced with novel and high risk situations, but it doesn’t need to be.

Instead of looking for one specific trait or quality, look to find the individual with the optimal strengths in each area to lead a team.

Also, help leaders become more self-aware by helping them understand their potential derailers and give them strategies to both recognise and overcome their challenges.

If you’ve found this article useful and want to speak with one of the Talentpraxis Group team, call us 01271 864 016 or book a convenient time in the diary using this link.