Good Leaders Learn From Their Mistakes
“Success in life is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is usually the result of experience. Experience is usually the result of bad judgment.”
For building service contractors this could be dealing with an employee that was caught stealing at a customer site. It could be the loss of large customer, the exit of a key employee, a health scare, a family issue, cash flow problems or realizing that your business is stuck and needs help to get beyond its current chokehold.
Making mistakes is inevitable. Taking the time to learn from them is optional, but it is an opportunity to learn.
Capture your thoughts once you’ve had time to process what happened. Talk about it as a team. Gather different perspectives and points of data. Separate the facts from the emotions so that you see the issue exactly as it is, not worse than it is.
If there are other stakeholders involved, such as clients, ask for their input or involvement so that you can create a winning solution together. This is far different than sending another apologetic email stating that “this won’t happen again”.
My friend and management consultant, David Yagnesak, has said:
“Smart people can identify problems. Smarter people can solve problems. The Smartest people can prevent problems.”
Simply hoping for conditions to improve in the future or thinking the problem will solve itself is delusional. Knowledge is power. However, I believe that knowledge is potential power ... it’s only when you take action that things begin to change.
Never delay taking corrective action once a problem has been recognized. Procrastination will only make problems worse. As a BSC, you do not want to be in the business of facing the same set of problems, with just a different day on the calendar.
How you run your business during the good times is an accurate indicator of how you will run your business in bad times. Facing a crisis can be painful and expensive, though if you take the time to learn from the experience, make positive changes and surround yourself with the right people, it can be a blessing in disguise.
Greg Montesano is owner of The Prevailing Group in Stamford, Connecticut. The advisory firm works exclusively with service providers and contractors to uncover strategies that will save money and time, as well as boost the bottom line. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at www.prevailinggroup.com.