At the conference I attended last year, we had an open round table discussion on mistakes. Wow, I thought this was going to be a fast and awkward conversation because after all, who wants to talk about their mistakes? The facilitator introduced the conversation through a personal story and then opened the floor. After a couple stories (to my surprise anyone volunteered to show their failures) the facilitator led a discussion on how one could have recovered from their mistakes. There were discussions on forgiveness and leadership supporting you through the successes and the mistakes. As the many obvious lessons from this open discussion continued, including ‘don’t let your ego get in the way’, the facilitator began to lead the conversation more full circle towards the connections to the “Six Thinking Hats” concept discussed the day before. You can check out my previous blog on the Six Thinking Hats here for the background.
The facilitator continued his story explaining that when rock bottom hit for his team, the team had to stop themselves and go through the 6 hats. After looking at the positives, negatives, emotions, and finally raw data, all came to the conclusion that they were in the wrong. The team had made the wrong decision at the beginning but because they refused to see/admit that, they instead kept pressing on towards something that God was not supporting.
As discussed in the previous blog, the 6 hats idea allows a team to effectively discuss issues and topics. If a team implements this type of thinking among team members and/or in team meetings, then conversations should be more productive and ideally mistakes would get flushed out before they get too far. The 6 hats concept allows every team member the opportunity to be transparent as topics are discussed.
I really like this thought because some will read this blog and think, well I just won't make any risky calls or I won't be in charge of making decisions... no, that's not the answer! We've got to be resilient Christian leaders; what it means is to have the sense to know when a wrong turn as been made. We don't want to get all the way to Kalamazoo before we realized we made the wrong turn at Albuquerque! haha Let me end on this quote: The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything. – Theodore Roosevelt