Smart mistakes happen when you take action, fail, learn, and adapt. Dumb mistakes happen when you don’t try at all.
Weak leaders over-prepare and under-execute.
6 Mistakes of inaction:
- Not declaring what you want in simple, observable behaviors with tangible results.
- Withholding feedback.
- Neglecting the emotional state of the team.
- Ignoring the passions of talented team members.
- Overlooking self-development.
Overcoming dumb mistakes:
The cure for dumb mistakes is
demanding results from yourself and others.
- Define and declare expectations. If it can’t be seen it’s not a result. Say what you want!
- Evaluate progress frequently and brutally. Mediocrity and apathy prevail until someone courageously calls it out.
- Recalibrate and begin again. The path to success begins with beginning again.
15 questions that overcome dumb mistakes:
- What observable results are we shooting to achieve? Define results with others, not in isolation.
- Who can best deliver the results we want?
- What strategies and methods best deliver results?
- What does accountability look like? Real accountability is voluntary, never coerced.
- What will be different when we achieve the results we want?
- How will results be measured?
- When should results be observed?
- How far have we come?
- How far do we need to go this week, month, or quarter?
- Who should we honor, praise, or reward?
- How can the performance of top performers be improved?
- Where can under-performers be developed or reassigned?
- What role does leadership play in delivering results?
- What skills and behaviors best take us where we want to go?
- What’s important now?
Wisdom is the result of taking action, learning, and adapting. But, words without action make you dumb. Pull the trigger more. 70% to 80% ready is ready enough.
Warning: High profile initiatives require greater preparation and certainty.
Facebook fans fill in: “The biggest mistakes leaders make include _____.”
What are the mistakes of neglect and inaction?
How can leaders overcome the problem of “dumb” mistakes?