By Tyler Bray, CEO, Owner, and Founder Trailer parts outlet.
Let’s talk about a difficult topic to navigate as a leader: how you manage your own mistakes in front of the team. If we take a moment to be honest with ourselves, there is a part of us who never wants to make mistakes and we certainly don’t want to admit them. However, I do believe that not letting your ego get you down is one of the most important aspects of growth for any leader.
Let’s take a story from a recent experience that I believe explains how to handle your own mistakes and even your own mistakes.
What did I do?
The situation was fairly simple. I called several of my important people to a meeting. In some cases, the first time people met each other, or even the first time they met me in person. We all know how important first impressions are. But my previous meetings were long, I had to stop for gas and there were traffic jams. Long story short, I was late for my own meeting and it was my own fault. This happened even after I repeatedly talked to my team in a timely manner! It wasn’t a good look.
In such a situation a leader has several options. Ignore the obvious, blame someone else or expect your team to deal with it. However, “do as I say, not as I do” does not work in real life. That being said, is your own wrong chance. Each of them gives you the opportunity to model the best way to handle mistakes for your team. When handled properly, your mistakes can become a tool to strengthen your team. I will tell you what I did and then highlight some simple advantages of this method.
How I handle my mistakes
I immediately became the owner of my stable and asked everyone present to send their Starbucks orders. I showed up to the meeting with ten drinks in hand. I think it turned the delay into a fun moment for everyone, a bit of a bond, a small memory.
What is the foundation for you?
Ask yourself this question when you realize that you have made a mistake as a leader. Hopefully, you have created a team with which you can be honest. If not here’s a new product just for you! Remember these words: Honesty equals credibility. An honest approach to your own mistakes and a clear plan of action and solution will increase your credibility in the eyes of your team.
Strengthens bonds of faith
Guess what? In business, no matter how cleverly you hire, your best people, your key players will make mistakes. But when you deal with your mistakes with humility and honesty, you silently allow them to do the same thing. It can save your business! You want your people to tell you what you need to know, not what they think you want to hear.
The final note is that your team will imitate your behavior as a leader. You ignore the problem and pass the buck, so they will. If you address your own shortcomings politely and with a plan for resolving them, they will too.