In an earlier blog post I made a statement:
“I firmly believe that leadership is hard and that even good leaders make mistakes, often when they are being watched.”
There are two aspects to this statement. First, Leadership is hard. It seems to me that even the most natural leaders have to work hard at it. For a start, every individual is different and it is almost impossible to effectively lead everyone. Over the years, I have had a great deal of success leading teams of varying sizes, capabilities and experience. There have, however, on occasion been one or two people in the team that I didn’t quite connect with. Sometimes, the laws of natural selection seem to operate and the individual has quietly departed. At other times, other members of the team are able to step in and act as the bridge between my passion to succeed and the individual that I struggled to connect with. Clearly, a leader’s ability to delegate in these situations is a key factor in the level of success.
The second aspect is that of making mistakes. Leaders are not magical beings that are always right. In fact, it is often the caring, compassionate side of a leader that makes them a great leader. As such, we will always be prone to making mistakes, often at exactly the wrong time! The key is to recognise this trait and do everything in your power to learn from your mistakes. When I worked as a VP for Sony Music I overheard another Exec saying “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Is that not another example of just how important it is to learn from your mistakes?