A Safe Place For Mistakes

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

Josh had just graduated from high school when I came to pastor in Cedar Springs. As I sat with this outstanding young man I asked him what he wanted to do next. 

“I’m not exactly sure,” he told me, “but I really feel like it’s something involved with ministry.” 

“Great!” I responded. “Let’s start experimenting.” 

I told Josh that our church was going to be a safe place to experiment: to plan new things, to try new things, to prayerfully evaluate the results, and then to use those results to plan new things. Josh jumped in right away, and over a short period of time we were eventually able to ascertain just how God had wired Josh for his niche of ministry. 

But this would have never happened without some missteps along the way. 

That’s okay. 

Leaders need to create an environment where it’s safe to make mistakes, because mistakes are a vital component of learning. 

My wife is a 3rd Grade teacher. A bulletin board in her classroom lovingly tells her students, “Our classroom is a safe place to make mistakes,” and then she gives them the keys to their successful learning. 

Leaders can help those around them grow through their mistakes by constantly reinforcing these six principles: 

  1. When someone complains, “This is too hard,” remind them, “This may take some time and effort.” 
  2. When someone says, “I’m not good at this,” prompt them to ask, “What am I missing?” and then encourage them to add, “I’m not good at this yet.” 
  3. When someone wants to settle with, “It’s good enough,” challenge them to ask themselves, “Have I given this my best effort?” 
  4. When someone wants to throw in the towel by saying, “I made a mistake,” remind them, “I failed is not the same thing as I am a failure,” and then remind them, “Mistakes help me learn.” 
  5. When someone is exasperated and says, “I give up,” come alongside them with, “Let’s try a strategy we’ve already learned.” 
  6. When someone says, “I can’t do this,” you need to lovingly encourage them with, “You can do this!” 

These responses will help foster an abundance-mindset environment where people aren’t defeated by their mistakes, but they’re energized to reengage and try again. As the brilliant inventor Thomas Edison quipped, “I’ve had a lot of success with failure.” 

Leaders, let’s make our spaces the safest places for the mistakes that lead to discovery, growth, and success. 

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Podcast: Leaders Pay Their Dues

On this episode of “The Craig And Greg Show” we talk about: 

  • I open with a fabulous quote from Greg
  • continuing to pay your dues increases your leadership influence  
  • if leaders begin to coast, they lose momentum and credibility
  • integrity is key
  • we pay more attention to our physical health as we get older, but why do we think we can pay less attention to our leadership health as we mature?
  • coasting means you are either plateaued or beginning to go downhill
  • leaders need to be very intentional about the dues they pay
  • it is easier to pay your dues when you have an abundance mindset 
  • leaders need to guard against an entitlement attitude 
  • we want to help you grow—instead of trying to figure it out all on your own, check out our coaching huddles

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

Podcast: What’s New, Leadercat?

On this episode of “The Craig And Greg Show” we talk about: 

  • the challenge for leaders when things are changing
  • too many leaders get comfortable with the status quo 
  • leaders need to adopt a growth mindset
  • what if we changed “what’s the worst that could happen?” to “what’s the best that could happen?”
  • I reference John Maxwell’s helpful book Sometimes You Win—Sometimes You Learn  
  • Greg cautions that either we address change or we avoid change, but if we avoid changing, our group may move on without us
  • just because we are changing doesn’t mean we are growing
  • Greg offers counsel on what leaders need to evaluate when considering changes
  • “unhealthy leaders change things to gain more control; healthy leaders change things to help the whole team get better,” Greg says
  • we don’t grow in areas of comfort: we learn most of our lessons moving forward, but we learn very few lessons sitting still
  • good leaders reassure other leaders to make thoughtful changes
  • the right way for leaders to partner with their team to effect positive changes

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

What’s Your Excuse?

It’s so easy to make excuses, isn’t it?

  • I wasn’t feeling well
  • I don’t have enough training
  • The sun was in my eye
  • The other guy was supposed to….
  • I don’t have the right tools
  • If only….
  • I can’t because….

John Maxwell has started a new teaching series where he presents a one-minute lesson on one word every day. Today’s lesson was on excuses. Watch the clip here.

Here are some other quotes on excuses:

“Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” —George Washington Carver

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it is convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses only results.” —Kenneth Blanchard

“Obstacles are not excuses for failure, they are opportunities for growth.” —Craig T. Owens

“People who are good at making excuses are seldom good at anything else.” —Benjamin Franklin

Let’s stop making excuses and start taking responsibility! 

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