Do people learn more from success or failure?
For me, it is always failure. I learn the most from my mistakes.
Success, for me often breeds arrogance. How does the saying go – the worst thing that can happen to a golfer is to have a great day on the greens.
It is our mistakes, our failures where we learn the most. For a manager and a team member, learning cannot be an exercise of micro-management, but one of failure and mistakes.
So, if we learn more from mistakes, how do we teach people to fly a plane? Mistakes cost life and limb. Mistakes can be fatal.
As a manager, you have to manage the risk in project work. We teach people to fly in simulators, where they can make mistakes, learn, make more mistakes and learn. We learn more from one mistake than we do from a dozen successes.
There are some behaviors you simply contract for. But, just because we have an agreement, does not necessarily mean we will see the behavior. I always look for habits.
Required behavior is one of the Four Absolutes necessary for success in any role.
- Skill (technical knowledge, practiced performance)
- Interest, passion, value for the work/li>
- Required behavior (contracted behavior, habits, culture)
I look for those routine, grooved behaviors that support the required behaviors in the role. If a behavior requires a Herculean effort to comply, it is likely that sooner or later, the agreement will be broken. If the behavior is supported by a habit, it is likely I will gain commitment to that behavior.
We think we choose our success.
We do not.
We choose our habits.
It is our habits that determine our success.
Here is how to interview for habits. -Tom