A football coach said, "Winning isn't about how many good plays you make—it's about how many mistakes you don't make."
I've taught college students for many years to understand that success comes by doing the little things right, every day. Successful actions accumulate. Failure occurs by doing little things wrong on a daily basis. Seemingly little mistakes accumulate.
Mistakes are obvious in sports and public performances of Puccini. In leadership, mistakes accumulate like nighttime snow. Tiny flakes pile up. The morning sun reveals the effect of one snowflake at a time.
Leaders encourage growth by trial and error. We just can't allow the mistakes to accumulate. A bad quarter is one thing. A bad decade is another.
An over-emphasis on mistakes in organizations is usually counterproductive.
A culture of dripping-gotchas will cause a team to play safe and lie low.
We cannot lead innovation by demanding an error-free environment. Effective leaders applaud a mistake that leads to organizational learning. It's the accumulation of errors that we coach our teams to avoid.
Celebrate even the smallest wins. Encourage a culture of applause. Catch people doing things right (Blanchard) and find creative ways to celebrate.
The work place becomes a sweatshop when celebrations are few. If you expect daily wins in your organization, celebrate daily wins.
Even a football fumble is celebrated when the ball bounces forward into the hands of a teammate.
Small progress accumulates.
"He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much. And he who is dishonest in the least is dishonest also in much" (Luke 16:10).
Platform Tip No. 143
People come to a platform for a quick solution.
Don't be a fast-food vendor.
Teach the process. Band-aids wear out.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's leadership e-newsletter.
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