Every Leader Messes up; 8 Tips to Get Over Mistakes

Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Milton Campbell

In leadership, mistakes are unavoidable. Even the best leaders make mistakes. That comes with the territory when you are expected to make the calls even when you don’t always have all the information you want. What sets great leaders apart from poor ones is how they get over mistakes.

Tips to Get Past Mistakes Like a Boss

1. Learn from your misstep. Some of life’s most valuable lessons come from mistakes. Reflecting on how this mistake could have been avoided will lower the chances you will make the same mistake again.

2. Own it when you are wrong. It’s not only important to admit you were wrong to others but more importantly to yourself. If you can’t admit to yourself that you are wrong the mistake will just become bigger and bigger leading to more damage.

3. Don’t beat yourself up. Every person alive has made mistakes so why would you expect yourself not to.

4. Take a break. Sometimes you need to take a moment away from the situation to get your head straight. Making decisions when you are still focusing on the mistake you made could lead to more mistakes being made.

5. Talk to somebody about the mistake. Many times, others can see things that we may not have seen due to emotions or pride. A great person to talk to is a mentor.  

6. Make amends. If somebody was hurt by the mistake it’s time to start making it right with that person.

7. Minimize the damage caused by the error. Try to make the impact of the mistake as small as possible. Realizing the mistake early can help lessen the damage.

8. Let it go. Remember the lesson you learned but let the mistake go and move on. Holding on to all the mistakes you’ve made can lead to fear. Fear will make you gun shy in the future. You can’t be overly afraid because mistakes and wrong calls will happen from time to time.

It can be tough to get past mistakes but the way you handle it can really make or break you as a supervisor and leader. It’s not how we handle the good times that shows the best of us, it’s how we handle the tough times. What additional tips do you have for leaders to deal with mistakes? Leave a comment below.

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