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How to Lead Through Mistakes

Focus on the process that led to the error

The beginning of a new year is often a time for facing failure. Some of your resolutions may have flopped—though, take heart, you can always pick up some new ones. And it is also the time where you’ll get a reminder that you’re not going to smoothly sail through the year—there’ll be mistakes, blunders, even things to apologize for.

Consider a couple of recent incidents. In November, the CEO of a British beer company apologized for misleading consumers, promising that they might find one of a rare few “solid-gold” cans among their six-packs. (Turns out the cans were just gold-plated.) More notably, Nobel Prize-winning musician Bob Dylan apologized for a blunder where a limited number of copies of his new book that were promoted as “hand-signed” by the artist were in fact signed by an auto-pen. 

In both cases the errors were similar—a product was promoted as something that it wasn’t. And in both cases one person stood up to take responsibility. But as any association exec can tell you, failures tend to be part of a series of mistakes that steamroll into a larger one. (They are only likely to tell you that privately, though. For a while Associations Now ran a feature called “Lessons From Failure,” but it was always a tricky business to get an association exec to go on the record about missteps.) 

Please select this link to read the complete article from Associations Now.

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