Have you been victim of the same mistakes consistently damaging your leadership? (175-1)
Effective leaders learn from the mistakes and victories of those who have gone before them. Read Daniel 5:22-24.
Belshazzar was the son of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He had either watched his father or heard the story of his father’s great conquests and great failures. Nebuchadnezzar had even put some of the great lessons of his life in writing. One of the experiences that changed Nebuchadnezzar was the seven years he spent with a mental illness that had him living in the fields with the animals and eating grass like the animals. God humbled him because of his excessive pride. In Daniel 4:37 he writes, “Now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.”
According to Daniel 5:22, Belshazzar knew all these things and yet allowed his personal pride to get so out of control that he deliberately offended the God who had humbled his father just to show off to his nobles during a party. In part because of Belshazzar’s lack of learning from his father’s mistake concerning a prideful nature, God used this incident as the moment to take the kingdom from his hands and demonstrate His power.
For leaders to continue to develop in their leadership skill they must continue to learn. When leaders, teams, organizations, and nations stop learning from the past failures they are setting themselves up to repeat the mistake and will have future failures that could have been avoided. There are a few basic actions a leader can take to become more effective at learning from the past:
- Leaders create the atmosphere that encourages learning from past mistakes. They debrief after each major organizational event and review those notes as they plan future events.
- Leaders create a climate of openness so information that could prevent a major mistake is not hoarded by an individual or department.
- Leaders set the standards that include not making the same mistake the same way for the same reasons twice.
- Leaders provide training to offset repeated mistakes in historically weak areas.
- Leaders test processes and use test groups to evaluate results and establish check points that spot mistakes early.
Have you been victim of the same mistakes consistently damaging your leadership credibility or your organization’s profitability? One definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results. Effective leaders know continuous improvement requires continuous learning and they do their best to create an environment that encourages and rewards applied learning.
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