Lessons learned from being wrong


Sorry, Rapture peeps. The end of the world did not come. Better luck next time.

Hey, don’t feel bad. It’s not the end of the world.

In fact, sometimes being wrong just feels right. Business people know there are always a few lessons to be learned from an error in judgment. Here are some things we can learn from being wrong:

1) Humility. Some people are naturally humble. The rest of us need to occasionally be taken down a peg. Business leaders often benefit from making mistakes in front of their teams.

2) Respect the opinion of others. If you’re wrong about something, there’s a good chance that someone else is right. Maybe they were right all along. Get used to it. If you work with smart people, you’re going to be bested quite often.

3) Being wrong helps with the art of apology. Being able to say “I was wrong” and “I’m sorry” is one of the best things we can do as human beings. Business people who can apologize with dignity and grace are terrific role models.

4) Being wrong helps you figure out what’s right. This is referred to as the process of elimination, or what I tell my consulting clients, the “process of illumination.”

Speaking of shining the light, Thomas Edison failed 637 times before he invented the light bulb, although I could be wrong about that.

Some people make a hobby out of being wrong. They’re called Devil’s Advocates. These weirdos take the opposing view on an issue, just for the sake of argument.

In the end, being wrong helps us be more successful. Physicist, Richard Feynman, advised us to “Fail as fast as you can.”

So don’t despair, Rapture fans. With apologies to REM, it’s not the end of the world as you know it and I feel fine.

From Royal Oak, Michigan–Michael Angelo Caruso