Leader Mistakes Aren't a Big Deal Until We Make It a Big Deal

Spilled milk
The old saying goes, "there's no sense crying over spilled milk." Same thing goes with small mistakes. (Flickr)

Leaders make mistakes.

Simple business mistakes: typos in a major presentation, errors in a spreadsheet at budget time, forgetting to return a call or perhaps quoting a scripture in a message with the wrong citation.

The list can be rather long. Preparation time was adequate, but somehow focus slipped away and a common blunder popped up.

There are much more serious mistakes a leader can make, particularly as it relates to people and projects, but let's focus on the little foxes. A leader's response to simple mistakes sets the culture for how the organization will respond to bigger issues.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

I frequently teach the axiom, "Your response determines your destiny." The course we set in our response to mistakes determines the potential impact of our leadership footprint.

There's an additional embedded axiom in this thought. Respond; don't react. When I make a mistake in my writing, it's similar to stepping on one of my dog's bones during a rest room run at 2 a.m. I sure want to react!

It's frustrating to see a typo or usage error in my work. I don't like it. If I react to the error with some lowly EQ (emotional quotient) fit, it's almost certain that future work will be flawed with a more serious error. If I am able to respond to the error with resolve to improve the work system and find fail-safe review methods, the outcome will usually be healthier.

Perhaps the leader lesson in this scenario is how we respond, rather than react, to the mistakes of others. I think the key point is to focus on the system rather than the person. High-octane reactions over mistakes only serve to increase the frequency of mistakes.

"And if indeed I have erred, my error remains with me" (Job 19:4).

Leaders help their team move on from mistakes with the same grace fully given to all who would ask.

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders