One of the many reasons I have been blessed in this life is having gotten to work for a long list of bosses who made it safe to make mistakes.
No, they weren’t detached or oblivious. Quite the contrary, in fact. These particular leaders understood that progress and improvement ONLY come on the heels of innovation, energy, and creativity. All three of those constructs lend themselves to mistake-making.
What I experienced working for those excellent leaders, and have since tried to build into my own thinking and processes, is that folks on a team should be encouraged to work energetically and try new things and grow themselves, without the fear of being beaten down for having done so.
Don’t get me wrong. Mistakes of neglect, inattention, malfeasance, and/or unethical intent can and should be addressed by the boss, with gusto.
But, when team members are pushing limits, stretching themselves, working to create something new and meaningful and significant..................
the boss should be both their most prominent cheerleader and vociferous defender.