So why, if you are an intelligent strong leader who knows mistakes don’t define you, is it still so hard to admit you made a mistake?

It is because your brain is designed to protect you. Therefore, it doesn’t want to see you in pain or failing. Yet ironically the number one way the brain learns is through failure.

To mitigate the impact failures have on your brain, you have to do 4 things:

1. Swiftly own the mistake without excuses.
2. Think through how you can fix it now and prevent it in the future.
3. If necessary, share with those above you what you learned and how you will not repeat the mistake.
4. Then, let it go.

A mistake only defines you if you let it. The ability to own and bounce back is something all management appreciates. The denying, blaming or deflecting behavior is when management starts thinking perhaps you aren’t ready for the next level.

We actually do an exercise with our leaders that helps them flip the stories on past failures so they use them as proof of their resilience and strength. If you have mistakes you want to flip to being assets give us a call to see how to strengthen your brain and be ready for your next level.

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