Yesterday I made a mistake, by failing to make the right people aware of a problem early enough.
In looking back on the day, I know what I ought to have done, and when. I did notify these people, but not immediately. I made an incorrect assumption as well, and lost some time. I allowed time to slip away by focusing on a particular part of the problem and not ensuring that the communications were clear.
I know I’m responsible and that’s good. It’s a failure I own, and that is the way it ought to be in management. I could blame someone else or focus on how the problem arose in the first place, but what good does it do for me as a manager of people to push it off on someone else? How is deflecting blame or pointing fingers a sign of leadership? Why would hiding from the problem model ethical behavior?
I say all this not to try and create an image of myself to those who might read this as someone who has a strict and perfect sense of honor, but really to remind myself that such mistakes are opportunities to discover something important, develop strength of character, and – most importantly – to learn from the failure in order to achieve success.