Fast Friday with Steven Tyler, Aerosmith frontman

Posted September 10, 2010 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights

Somehow on Tuesday, I found myself in front of a Glee rerun just as a singing battle was about to explode between Mr. Schuester and guest star Neil Patrick Harris (who will always be Doogie Howser to me).  The song weapon of choice was Aerosmith‘s classic “Dream On”.  A lyric jumped out at me that seemed like a great mantra for leaders…


“You gotta learn how to lose, to know how to win”.

What do you learn more from?  Your mistakes or your successes?  For me, the mistakes are the hands down winner in that battle.

All of us make mistakes and learn how to handle them.  But leaders also have to learn how to handle letting our team members make their own mistakes.  One of the sure-fire ways to burn yourself out in leadership is to try to protect the people that work with you from making mistakes.

Letting go can be hard, and there’s a balance between allowing someone to make a mistake and torpedoeing their (and possibly your) career.  But the downside to “protecting” people from failure is the risk that you end up with a culture of dependency and lack of accountability… which leads to more work on your plate.

So, what are you going to let someone screw up today in order to provide them with an amazing learning experience?

Happy leading!

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