Although this is card #23, this is the first of a series of posts we’ll be running this summer about the Collective Next Cards.
Make new mistakes: I love this saying. While thinking about this lesson, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Girl on Guy. Aisha Tyler conducts long form interviews with interesting people (actors, comedians, and an eclectic mix), and even if I have no idea who she’s talking to, I learn something, hear something interesting, or find something inspiring. (An aside: some content is NSFW, but out of 136 interviews I’ve listened to, there are a mere two that I didn’t find interesting. Listen!)
One of my favorite episodes includes an interview with the actor Charles Michael Davis, and he and Aisha go to talking about taking risks. Here’s the key quote:
“Perfectionism is guarding against uncertainty. Confidence is being certain in uncertainty.”
Exactly. This is what making new mistakes is all about.
First, make mistakes – part of what we try to do with our clients is help them see new possibilities, push the edges of their boundaries. We are bound to make mistakes, but we are also bound to figure some things out that weren’t evident at the start.
Second, make NEW mistakes – that’s called learning. Try something different the next time, and see if it works better or differently. Not in a reckless way, but in a way that is informed by and builds on what you learned from the last situation.
There is a lot of power in figuring out how to ride that wave of uncertainty. As leaders, acknowledging uncertainty actually increases credibility. It invites people into the conversation. Perfectionism is the enemy of a lot of what we are required to do in business today – deliver quality, get there quickly, be effective – and being comfortable making new mistakes is one way to combat it.