Someone recently asked a question about a mistake I made when I started. And what lessons or takeaways did I learn from that? Well, that’s a target-rich environment for me. I’ve made a million mistakes—more than I could reasonably count. But on reflection and being reluctant to throw myself down a well, there are some lessons I continue to learn, and I figured I could share a few. Maybe these are familiar. Perhaps they are foreign. Humans typically underestimate their own biases and gaps and overestimate others. When we encounter our colleagues and teammates, we ignore the reality that we all show up with our baggage, bad days, biases, and blind spots. I am not immune. So keep that in mind and look around your place; perhaps some of these lessons may help you, your teammates, clients, and customers.

I thought I understood more than I did and thought if I just did the ‘outworking,’ the outcomes would go my way. They didn’t.

  • Lesson 1: Having HubrisI. Don’t. Know. Anything; the more I learn, the larger the scale and scope of my ignorance. Be curious, want to know more, and learn more to #keepmoving.
  • Lesson 2: On Arrogance – I was convinced of my design and technology knowledge or how to get sht done…. Teams make leaders when you get humbled, and I got humbled often… you learn to be vulnerable and dependent on teams of humans to accomplish missions—a continuously learned lesson. Team is nearly everything about success and failure; take on your team’s failures. What I’ve learned about the ego as the enemy has changed my career and life.
  • Lesson 3: A Lack of Humility. I always check myself about how critical humility is to success and a blindspot for failure; I have told my team to start every sentence with ‘How can I help?’ it’s a simple question, but when you are quiet after and listen, it reframes any discussion. I also talk too much, so ‘How can I help?’ is an easy shut-up reminder.
  • Credit to the team at the Mob for the master class on how to be a leader and maybe a better human, how the lessons could make success happen, and how we got it done for more than a decade.

Suppose you made it down here. If so, thank you for reading.


One response to “Takeaways”

  1. Michael Welsh Avatar
    Michael Welsh

    This was posted on LinkedIn previously

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