3 Mistakes Every New Leader Needs To Face Head-On

from Fast Company

When Thomas Edison was asked about the thousands of failures he experienced while inventing the light bulb, he quipped, “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

In the tradition of Edison, truly innovative leaders make mistakes. They learn from them and try again. And while no one likes to be wrong, there are a few mistakes that every leader should make at least once early in his or her career. Why? Because these mistakes will test you as a leader on just about every level—from the strategic to the tactical to the emotional.

Quite simply, getting these big three business mistakes out of the way now will make you a better leader.

More here.


39 Responses to 3 Mistakes Every New Leader Needs To Face Head-On

  1. Catherine January 17, 2015 at 11:52 pm #

    In this article, being a leader is hard job to do, a job in which people think that must be solitary because they are the leader, and the decisions therefore fall to them. In this article, one of the things they explain is that the best leaders are the ones that are not afraid to ask for help, the ones to let people know that they need assistance. This part of the article really struck me because this is one of the things I dislike doing most. I understand that in order to succeed I need to listen to my peers and consult others but I think having a specific consultant group is best for that instead of asking random people that you may work with, questions. You never know who you can trust within certain companies even if you are the leader. A person can be dropped and replaced within the month so I’d rather keep a select group. It’s lonely at the top for a reason.

    However, I wholly agree to what the article says about keeping up with the times. Borders was one of my favorite book stores and I was heartbroken when it closed. If the CEO’s and company heads had gone with the times instead of trying to painstakingly rely on old and possibly outdated methods, they might be still open right now. They might have even bought out Barnes and Nobles instead of the other way around. Although, I don’t really know of the other issues with the business, but not moving forward with the times was probably a big part of it.

  2. Jonathan Magotch January 20, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”
    This quote from Oscar Wilde, given at the end of the article, really sums up the point Leon Shapiro is trying to get across in this article. The “3 mistakes” that are mentioned in the article entail the need to interact, adapt, and take control of the environment that you have found yourself attempting to climb to the top of.

    The first of the three mistakes that Shapiro introduces is the need for interaction. Interaction with your colleagues or others that you feel comfortable talking to is a must, no matter the working environment or the position you hold. You will not be able to be comfortable within the organization if you don’t feel comfortable talking to the people that surround you every day; this seems all too easy to understand, until you really think about all of the higher-ups in a company and you are really, “Not wanting to show weakness” as Shapiro puts it. You can see how this can become a problem, when you don’t have anyone to confide with. The second of the mistakes is not wanting to adapt to the environment, something required in order to succeed. Shapiro brings up a good point here, especially when it comes to the example he gives about blockbuster. Blockbuster didn’t really try to innovate and adapt, they stuck to their business model and kept trying their hand at renting and selling movies. Netflix, one of their top competitors, did realize that they needed to adapt and introduced the ability to stream thousands of TV shows and movies all with the click of a button. The ability for netflix to see the need to adapt and grow their platform ultimately led to their success, while the stubbornness of blockbuster lead to their bankruptcy. The last of the mistakes is not being able to take control of the immediate environment. If you realize there is a problem, you have to be able to fix it in the shortest amount of time possible. As Shapiro states, “Don’t turn a mistake into an epic failure by waiting to take corrective action.” Being a leader means that you have to take control, and make decisions, no matter how hard they might be. I believe that this is one of the the most difficult parts about becoming a leader in an organization; you have to make the tough calls that no one else wants to.

    In all, I thought this article was a good read and I agree with most of the points that the writer brings up. In order to lead you definitely need to learn how to interact, adapt and take control of the environment that surrounds you, in order to succeed. Being a leader is most definitely not an easy task, but is one that requires the experiences you had to get to that leadership position.

  3. Jazmine Robles January 21, 2015 at 12:39 am #

    Being a leader is essential to anyone with dreams of reaching the top. This article resonated with me on a personal level because it discussed some of my outlooks on life. I think being a leader is all about learning to accept weakness and overcome struggles with pride. In order for a leader to do their job, they needs to be open minded to suggestions on how they can improve. An effective leader will push through regardless of the obstacles in front of them. They can form solutions and find opportunities in every situation.

    Shapiro discusses how a mistake leaders make is focusing too much on the present. I agree with this because in order to be an effective leaders you need to come up with strategies on how to safeguard your future. If you stay too focused on the present, you will lose sight of those things that will eventually matter.
    I believe making mistakes is essential in order to be a leader because making mistakes is how you learn for the future.

    • Joe Sada November 1, 2016 at 11:11 am #

      Being a leader is a great feeling. Many people want to be at the top, I know I do. Leaders have big decisions to make majority of the time and sometimes the leader fails. They need to fail so they can learn from their mistakes, so they do not make the same mistakes or decisions. I know for me personally, I need to try something and see it for myself for me to realize I shouldn’t do that again. Someone can tell you do not do that numerous times, but unless you go out and try it, you’ll never know what the effect is. Just like what Thomas Edison said, “I have no failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” The article goes on to list three things leaders need to face and do when you’re at the top. Keeping your struggles to yourself is a big one. Not many care about what is going on and you shouldn’t bring your outside struggles into work because it could affect performance. Leave what happens outside of work outside; do not bring that into the company especially when they are a big deal in the company. Another big mistake is focusing only on the present. Leaders have to focus on the bigger picture and the future. If leaders only focus on the present, their longevity will not last very long. The company needs future results, so the leaders need to make sure that happens. The biggest mistake in this article, in my opinion, is not fixing obvious mistakes immediately. The company puts their trust in the leader they appoint, so they need to make the right choices. When that leader makes the mistake, it seems like a tough call to make to pull a product or share they messed up, but it needs to happen. Even though they messed up, they could always redeem themselves if it wasn’t done intentionally. Even when they have spent days and countless hours on the plan and you want it to work very bad, but it just won’t. It is tough to make that call, but it has to happen as soon as it is spotted. I want to be a leader soon and all of these are a great representation of what new leaders need to face when starting their role. Moving up could be rough, but it will end up working out for the best and make you very good at your job. Once you can take over the leadership role and perform very well, anyone will want you to work for them or even go higher in the company.

  4. Gwyn Haertel January 21, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    This article opens by discussing one of the greatest innovators of our time: Thomas Edison. Failure is inevitable, especially when being a leader and innovator. It is proven throughout history that all great leaders have at one point or another failed. Mistakes only test our strength and intelligence, as true leaders prevail through struggle and adversity. While many strive to be strong leaders in business; the greatest leaders are the ones who do not let their failures limit them.

    I agree with the facts stated in this article. There are three main rules to follow while successfully leading a business. These rules are be confident, focus on the future, and try not to correct obvious mistakes right away. In doing these three tasks, you will protect yourself, the money you have invested, and your team. Innovation is a key element to being successful. If you do not plan for the future, you will fall behind because the world will continue to speed up, while you are at a standstill. This is key to protecting your career when the stakes are higher. Fear prevents us from being innovative and taking chances in business. This can be an ultimate failure. Correcting mistakes immediately is also extremely important in leading a company. While starting over seems dreadful in the moment, this will protect you in the long run, which is a key concept in being a successful leader. Fixing a single mistake could prevent multiple mistakes from occurring. This could stop a drastic failure from taking place in your business.

    An example of failure being inevitable in leading a business or a team is through the show The Apprentice. Often, the team leader is the person most likely to be kicked off the show due to the fact that they are most at fault for his or her team’s failure. This does not mean they were an overall poor leader, it solely means that they did not succeed in rightfully completing their task, putting them most at fault out of everyone on the team.

    This article ends with Oscar Wilde quote in which he says, “experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes”. This is extremely important when it comes to being a leader. We learn form our mistakes. Leaders do not let their failures stop them from achieving their goals.

  5. Gustavo Gonzalez January 23, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    Leon Shapiro enlightens us with not only three mistakes new leaders will commit but three mistakes that they need to make in order to make them stronger and effective leaders. He starts off by providing as an example the great Thomas Edison. Edison’s famous line, “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”, is a solid example of the right amount of optimism and the way new leaders should look at their mistakes. Shapiro states that it is crucial for leaders to make mistakes and learn from them early on. The reason for this might be to instill an effective, productive, and professional environment from the initiation of one’s organization or company.

    Shapiro’s first point is about a leader whose instinct is to conceal their fear and inexperience and perhaps those who are unwilling to reach out to more established leaders for advice and mentorship. Every new leader should be aware that he or she will face difficult obstacles early on, but must also recognize that being an effective leader means doing what must be done in order to grow as a leader. Those who keep to themselves and do not seek guidance when faced with adversity are missing out on career saving advice. In business, people are more likely than not, willing to share their experiences and advice with their younger counterparts. Therefore, reaching out to people older and more established can only help new leaders, because the chances are that they went through the same problems when first starting out. This enables younger leaders to see what the older leaders did and what they did not do. Reaching out to peers outside the field may prove valuable as well.

    When new leaders fail because they focus exclusively on the present, it should set off alarms in their heads. When this happens the future of their career and company will be doomed to failure. If they solely focus on the present they run the risk of not being productive. Leaders need to set goals for their company to reach, whether it be in sales, hires, or growth. Shapiro took the Eastman Kodak Company as an example when a company’s leader failed to adapt because they didn’t focus on their industries evolving future.

    Lastly, when a leader fails to correct a mistake that is obvious, they risk letting that small mistake evolve into a catastrophic one, the example that Shapiro makes is a bad hire. Here, as a leader, you should be able and willing to do what is right for your company, whether it be a termination of an employee or a transfer of positions a good leader should be able to make difficult decisions. The longer it takes for a mistake to be corrected, the more probable that further mistakes will occur. Learning from these mistakes, or any for that matter, is crucial for a new leader.

  6. L.E. Baron KJP January 23, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

    Mistakes are simply the stepping stones to success, as goes the entrepreneurial motto. As an entrepreneur, this is what I believe in. What I got from the article is that leaders should make sure they learn from their mistakes. It impacts me in a deeper way because these are all issues that have come to mind at some point. As a leader, maintaining one’s stature is good for morale, and is necessary in keeping a coherent organization. However, as the article states, it can be perceived as if a leader always has to keep it that way, and exclude the others in their worries. This is not true because as good of a visionary that leader is, he cannot accomplish it all by himself. An organization is only as strong as the synergy between the people that make up the organization. Furthermore, an employee could have a better idea on how to proceed. Allowing these ideas to emerge in discussion is key in finding the best ways to tackle an issue. While it can be a matter of pride, it is better to seek outside help from those who excel in the matter sought after, then to come up with a mediocre solution that ends up being a hindrance.
    The article also mentions focus on the present, which can be a fatal mistake. Entrepreneurs’ biggest asset is their ability to innovate and bring something new to the markets, and without it become one of these marginalized companies that eventually die off. The example used was Kodak, which was afraid of the upcoming change, and ended up in bankruptcy as its competitors took its market share. Google CEO Larry Page understood that, and dissatisfied with the level of innovation, Page decided to hand off some of his day-to-day responsibilities to Senior VP Sundar Pichai in order to focus on the bigger picture and future projects. There are countless industry leaders that have seen drastic change over the past few years due to the new competitors innovating at a rapid pace. The key to continue growing one’s business is to not grow complacent.
    The third mistake mentioned is the reluctance to correct an obvious mistake. This has more to do with our psychology than anything, as we will hope that we are wrong about it. While it can be a difficult decision to make, in the long run it will avoid an even more difficult situation. The article says that firing the newly hired person is hard to make, but that eventually it will come to it. Therefore it is all a matter of getting it over as early as possible. Mistakes will happen, but in the end it is what we do about them that counts.

  7. Shaquria Love January 24, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    There are three mistakes that leaders face in life. The higher they climb ladder of success the loneliness becomes a factor. Another mistake that leaders make is focusing on the present. Leaders put to much of their energy into now instead of planning and thinking about the future. Sometime its better to think about the future rather than put all your energy into the present. Last but not least leaders have a hard time fixing their mistakes. Because they have the higher position their mistakes would not seem as serious and it would for someone who commit mistake at a lower position.

  8. Andrew Aguilera January 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    This article, written by Vistage CEO Leon Shapiro, highlights the three major mistakes that all leaders need to confront as early as possible. In the beginning, Shapiro discusses how leaders are supposed to make mistakes, and that it is better to make the mistakes early on as opposed to later in one’s career. With that said, Shapiro dives right into his three mistakes that everyone should take care of. The three mistakes that people make are: keeping struggles to themselves, focusing too much on the present, and not correcting obvious mistakes immediately.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this short article because it serves as a constant reminder that there is always room to improve as individuals. To achieve long term goals, one must face adversity and make mistakes. Shapiro talks about three very important mistakes that people should overcome and provides great examples to make his message clearer. I especially liked his point about not solely focusing on the present because that is one of the biggest problems people have, in my opinion. That is why many companies have failed, as Shapiro points out. I can only hope that I will overcome these mistakes and misconceptions as early as possible in my career.

  9. Lauren Hall January 30, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading this article because it showed me that it is okay to make mistakes in the business world. Although many people are scared to make mistakes this article showed me that I shouldn’t be because you should learn from your mistakes so that you do not make them again. The main three mistakes the author talked about were, keeping struggles to yourself, focusing exclusively on the present, and not correcting obvious mistakes immediately. While I agree with the author that these mistakes are common in the work environment I also believe they are present in people’s everyday lives such as my own.
    I think keeping your struggles to yourself is something a lot of people do because they are scared to talk to other people about them. Although personally, I think it is more beneficial for people to share how they are feeling with others because you never know someone you talk to may have the answer to your problem. Maybe one of the people you confide in will have gone through the same type of situation before so they know what to do whether it is business related or not. I also agree that you cannot focus exclusively on the present. When it comes to business or school work or just everyday life you have to think about the past, present, and future. The reason I think this is because maybe something from the past could help you with something you are doing in the present. Also because you need to think about the future and how things will wind up if you choose to do something. Lastly I agree that it is important to correct your obvious mistakes immediately. The reason I believe this is because I think the longer you let a mistake go on the worse it will get and I believe that is true for both the business world and everyday life.

  10. Shelby Brown January 30, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    This article is extremely helpful for anyone heading into any type of business in the future. It mentions 3 of the most common mistakes that anyone in a management position will make at some point and how to overcome them. First is the the fact that people in a position of power tend to not want to admit that they need help or ask for others opinions. I feel that this is a mistake that I myself would easily make and reading this article had showed me that it is crucial to get other peoples opinions and ideas on decisions that you may make. Even though you may not follow this advice, it is important to share your problems with others so that you do not keep it all bottled up inside.

    Then there is the Kodak example of how they focused too much on the present instead of the future and ended up going bankrupt in 2012. This is a fantastic example of no matter how successful you are if you do not focus and plan for the future then you will not have the chance to participate in it. The third mistake mentioned is that people will hesitate to correct mistakes early on and when you are the boss this is a mistake that you can’t afford to make often. This article is something that I will always carry with me into the future and has taught me to try and avoid making these mistakes.

  11. Kevin Dorward January 30, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    “3 Mistakes Every New Leader Needs to Face Head-on” is an article that offers wise advice to new leaders about mistakes that will help them learn and grow. The first mistake that was described was keeping your struggles to yourself. This is important because people who are at the top of a company can be lonely since there is no one above them or at the same level to talk to about important decisions. This is a mistake that you want to make in order to learn to be more social and friendly with people below you at work. If you do not surround yourself with people that can help you make decisions you are doomed to fail the company and the only way you can learn to appreciate it is if you are lonely in the first place.

    The second mistake that was described in the article was focusing on the present. This is important because a company cannot hold on to the past of the company because bigger and better thing will come out in the future. A company must innovate to stay in the market even though some innovations can be risky. It is important to make the mistake of focusing on the present because it is important for a company to see the fallbacks of not changing the way they do business or make a product.

    The final mistake that was described in the article is not correcting obvious mistakes immediately. This mistake is making bad employment decisions. This is important to make people without trying new people in different positions you will never really know if you have the best personnel in each position to make your company work to the best of its abilities in the most efficient way.

  12. Prince Sledge January 30, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    I believe that this article is important for anyone to read for the sole reason that people need to understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with making mistakes. The greatest leaders and innovators reached the success that they did through the process of trial and error. Making mistakes isn’t a bad thing, it can actually be a good thing. The article is trying to say that failure shows you just the amount of ways that do not work. This was an idea that Thomas Edison himself supported.
    I liked the portion of the article that mentions Blockbuster and Borders filing for bankruptcy. The reason for these businesses going bankrupt is because they were afraid of change and afraid of making mistakes. These businesses focused so intensely on preserving the business that they had at the time and feared innovation. As a result other companies who didn’t show this same hesitance and were not afraid of failure were able to obtain the spotlight.

  13. Omar Latif January 30, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    Success does not come easy. It is important that one finds ways to handle with failures. This article gives three ways to face the reality of things when trying to be successful. The great advice is given in three examples.
    Keeping ones struggles to themselves is important. When being the boss and slowly moving up in the company, one might find it hard to confront a hard decision. I agree with the article, always eek help. It may seem embarrassing but it is the right decision. A company would rather you seek help than sit silent and not do anything. It is also important, I would prefer the article touch on this, but to get advice from the right source. Go to a high person or someone that has gone through what you are doing.
    Focusing exclusively on the present isn’t good. There will be success for you but in the future their wont. While you may be successful now and nervous to look forward, someone else who has less to loose is creating the next big thing. You can’t be afraid to fail.
    The little things are what makes the most successful companies the best. If there is a little mistake, one has to correct it immediately or their will be consequences later.

  14. bonghwan kim January 30, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

    Back to Bergen Community College, I took Psychology class and we discussed about being a leader or being part of the group members. I chose being an ordinary member of group, so I can avoid those situation that author mentioned. As an author pointed first, it requires a lot of responsibilities to be a leader. Leader should take not only honors, but also risks. Therefore, It is truly lonely position and hard to struggle.

    Second, the author give us example of Kodak Film. Kodak is a still big company, but not as much as before. The problem is they did not read the trends of market. For example, Olympus, Canon, and Nikon was the major camera companies before just like Kodak. However, they kept invent new technology and tried to fulfill the customers’ desires. Therefore, they developed digital camera, DSLR, and mirrorless lens things. CEO should not satisfy and stay in current position in market. They should keep prepare for next steps.

    Lastly, as I mentioned on first paragraph, Leaders are hard to recognize their mistakes. Sometimes it is really hard because of flattery of their employees. This is why not everyone can be a leader. They should have enormous judgment abilities.

  15. Cameron Quisenberry January 30, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

    In Jim Collins’ book Good to Great, he presents a few ideas as to how a company can become a good company to a great company. The rules are, find something you are passionate about, what drives the company’s economic engine, and what the company can be the best in the world at. I believe there is one other secret to success as presented in this article, and that is to focus exclusively in the present. A great leader has to be focused on the present and all the technologies being created today. I like how Mr. Shapiro mentioned in his article the companies of Blockbuster and Kodak. Both of those companies were good companies, but failed to focus exclusively on the present. Blockbuster and Kodak had a pretty decent representation in the market, but never stayed educated as to what was going on in the present, and therefore could not plan and prepare for the future which ultimately led to their demise. I also agree with the statement that a leader should not correct obvious mistakes immediately. If a leader jumps right into a situation in order to fix it, s/he could potentially make more mistakes while s/he was attempting to fix the situation.

  16. Alan Vartabedian February 6, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    As a person who likes to take the leadership role in all areas of life, I found this article quite fascinating! The first mistake mentioned about concealing your weaknesses to yourself was explained in a terrific manner. I think this is a mistake that most of us make as humans, and it takes special individuals to be able to admit their weaknesses to others. If a leader is able to express to their colleagues of a particular weakness, it gives the whole group a sense of relief, as they do not have to fear the leader as a non-human figure, who is free from mistake. This would allow the colleagues to be very appreciative of the leader because of this humbleness. With this appreciation of the leader comes great cooperation and production as exemplified in successful business.
    The next point, which noted of staying in the present as a negative aspect of a leader gave me mixed emotions. In the business world, I understand that it is important to always try to think one step ahead and innovate, not making the same mistake such as Kodak mentioned in the article. Yet, it is also important for the leader to not become so entangled with future ideas and projects that the ones in the present are not up to par. Therefore, I leaders are to be successful, they must think of the future, but base most of their time trying to win the present.
    Overall, the piece offered great points for future leaders to learn from. As a member of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall, I find it especially informative to hear this advice now rather than twenty years from now. Being a leader is more than having your own skills, it’s about being able to identify what you cannot do an lead someone who can.

  17. Darryl S April 3, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    The article 3 MISTAKES EVERY NEW LEADER NEEDS TO FACE HEAD-ON is a fantastic article that pinpoints several aspects that leaders can focus on and improve. Keeping struggles to yourself is what some leaders may do because they are afraid to admit a weakness. I agree with Leon Shapiro on this aspect, many people try to hide aspects that they are not good at due to the perceptions other employees have. Focusing exclusively on the present should not be a trait to have as a leader. Part of having a leader involves a vision. Innovation and thinking outside the box are also important aspects to have. In this article companies such as Kodak, Blockbuster, and Borders all suffered from not having a clear vision and innovating their business. The article also goes into leaders not correcting obvious mistakes immediately.

    Leon Shapiro also mentions that it is essential for leaders to hire the right people in key positions. This is often difficult to find the right person for the position whether it is recruiting internally or externally. If you are looking to hire, most likely you hire a person for several reasons: you have heard of the excellent work that they have contributed, their work experience is related to the job function, or the candidate demonstrates that they have the right skills for the position. However, it is not always easy to pick and select the proper candidate for a given position. If a candidate is hired to work in a position the leader should do their best to provide positive and constructive feedback in order for this person to succeed. Too many times employees are reprimanded for behavior without being given direction on how they can improve. A true leader does not give up on an employee when the employee makes an initial error, a good leader tries to solve the problem and helps the employee grow. In some cases, leadership guidance and proper direction may not have an effect on an employee’s job performance. If an employee cannot perform effectively after being given several chances to improve performance, the executive decision of keeping an employee with the company comes into play.

  18. Matthew Fox April 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    Everyone makes mistakes and learns from them. Whether the outcome is good or bad, the person making the mistake or doing something a different way is going to learn something from it. No matter if this said person is a leader, manager, or an employee at the bottom of the pyramid, they will all learn. This article states that there are three things every leader should face and learn from early in their careers. These three things are keeping your struggles to yourself, focusing exclusively on the present, and not correcting obvious mistakes immediately. If you can face these mistakes and learn from them at an early part of your career, it will make you better off in your career. You will know how to handle these three topics from there on out instead of either beating around the bush or not knowing how to face these topics head on. Learning from them earlier will also make you a better leader because you can face these problems more efficiently and you know the consequences if they aren’t faced properly. Learning from these mistakes will help you grow with experience and make you into an even better leader in the short and long term.

  19. Dyanira Custodio April 3, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    Every great leader has failed atlas multiple times within his or her career. Many people believe in the misconception that if one fails, that person is not good enough. Well this is not true. When one has failed at a particular project, what one has truly done was learn a way in which things did not work. It becomes a learning experience. Same principle applies when one is hired at a job. At first one must be trained in order to perform the job. Proper training will lead to great work skills and often great work ethic. This relates to failures in regards to accomplishments. In order for one to grow in his or her position, one must fail, learn, and get better.

    I honestly believe that making mistakes is the fundamental key to success. You must take the good with the bad. In similar cases one may say happiness comes with unhappiness, and in that sense, success comes with failure. The author points out that there are three things in which every leader should be able to face and that is keeping your struggles to yourself, focusing exclusively on the present and not correcting obvious mistakes immediately. The one mistake that I am particularly concerned with is number two, focusing exclusively on the present. Many leaders make the mistake of dwelling on the past or prior unsuccessful projects. Placing ones focus on events that have already occurred does not leave much spacer placing focus on the present/future. For this reason, one ought to be very careful of mistake number two, focus on the present/future for more successful living.

  20. Stefanie DiPaolo May 1, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

    This article talks about three things every new leader needs to help them become better and stronger leaders. It is important for leaders to learn that their struggles cannot be kept to themselves. The article states that new leaders often try to hide their fear or struggles, which is not a good thing. Letting others know that fears and struggles are present, when appropriate, allows for growth and a team to become stronger and more productive. Another mistake new leaders make is focusing solely on the present. While it is important to focus on what it is happening right now, it is also important to remember that there is a future to come and that it needs to be carefully planned and prepare for. The third thing leaders must learn is to correct mistakes early on. While it may be extra work, fixing obvious mistake early on will only benefit a leader. Fixing the mistake early on will allow for any problems to be fixed before a bigger problem can occur.

    To be a strong leader, a person must learn what works and does not work within a company. It is about trial and error and making sure to work with as much efficiency as possible. A person must be able to express problems and interact with their team, think ahead and be able to plan for the unexpected, along with correct and fix any errors as soon as possible. If all three of these things can be achieved, a strong leader can be made.

  21. Dakota Best May 1, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    This article brings about the point that leaders do not need to always seem so high and mighty. There are many aspects about being a leader that are difficult. It could be being a leader as in being a CEO or as in being a leader of a group for class. Both types of leaders have struggles that they go through. The first mistake that every leader does is keeping their struggle to themselves. This being said, I feel that everyone has this attribute about them. They don’t want anyone to know that they are having a troubling time. Being secluded is bad because when you get so down, its difficult to get back up, and this can lead to failures.

    The second mistake made is that the leader only focuses on the present. Yeah its a good thing to look at the present, but also looking to the future is a vital tool to have. Being able to look to the future and see the future of the group or company is something that all leaders should do constantly. The third mistake made is that they do not correct mistakes right away, that they let them linger around. the linger mistake always leads to more down the road. In order to prevent huge mistakes the smaller immediate ones need to be fixed.

    These are mistakes that all leaders make. This does not only pertain to leaders but also to everyone. Everyone has the traits about them and more often then not do them It is a common thing and is what makes us us. Its what makes us human.

  22. Daniel Folta January 29, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

    This title is a little odd. I feel as though I am being encouraged to go and intentionally mess up so that I can become stronger by it. It makes me wonder why this article was written; if these mistakes have to be made in order to be learned, what could I learn this article? I think the simple idea that as leaders, we need to be intentional about changing. This article is very important because it helps us be aware of what there is to learn when those mistakes have been made. We can make a mistake but never learn from it, and this article prevents exactly that.

    Shapiro’s first point is that we cannot be leaders alone. Christianity can teach us something about receiving support from others. According to Religion News Service, the Pope asked people to pray for him during his recent tour in America. Many people believe him to be one of the most righteous people in the world, and yet he still asks for help. What’s more, is that that kind of humility is only admirable, and not pathetic. In the same way, business leaders and CEOs are more reputable as men who work alongside their colleagues, not ahead or behind them. The Pope aside, another thing that Christians can teach us is in intentionally spending time with other people to talk about difficult and even inner issues within ourselves and our career in a transparent atmosphere. Many Christians like to have small groups and frequently talk about their struggles. We as leaders ought to adopt a similar model. As the article says, “The first instinct is to conceal that fear or inexperience,” but we have to actively seek out support from others and be vulnerable with them.

    Professor Shannon forces his students to keep up with current technological innovations, and this article does a good job of explaining why. We cannot focus exclusively on the present. The past offers us advice on how to deal with the future, and preparing for the future is what keeps a company doing well in the present. It is scary to hear of big name companies like Kodak, Blockbuster and Borders who did not adapt to the calling of the future and stay in what was quickly becoming the past. China underwent the same issues during the Opium Wars. They had invented gunpowder, and yet it was Europe who were creative enough to use it for war. In the aftermath, they had to scramble to reconcile their deep-rooted Confucian tradition with innovation and science. The lesson learned here is that while changing is hard, even for large companies and countries, there are serious consequences for letting oneself slip into the past.

    When it comes to painting, my art teacher says that one of the things that makes him a good artist is that he can see mistakes before they happen, and can correct them early on. Many amateurs, including myself, put down some paint and cannot see the potential mistake until much further down the road. But getting better at seeing those mistakes before or right as they happen comes with experience. I think this is the point behind Shapiro’s comment that we have to make these mistakes early on so that we do not make them in the future when more responsibility is in our hands. I think that what is important when it comes to hiring people specifically, is just as what Shapiro says about thinking about the consequences of other people when you feel reluctant to lay off someone. It is your job to make the tough calls, which comes back to the first point that you need support in making those decisions.

    A general theme in all three of these points is to not be proud. In the first point, leaders need to realize their weaknesses and shortcomings and be honest enough to seek out help. In the second, we have to be humble enough to know that the current way of doing things is not always the best way of doing things. And for the third, leaders need to be transparent and own up to their own mistakes quickly. Knowing your weaknesses, knowing that your company must change with the times, and knowing when you’re wrong are essential to becoming a great business leader down the road.


  23. Brendan J. Kane February 8, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

    Failures and mistakes should encourage a person to try it again until the goal is accomplished, not discourage the person from ever trying again. These failures and mistakes should also be seen as opportunities to learn and enhance one’s knowledge on the topic. Some may even argue that the best leaders are those who have a history of mistakes along with their successes because it helps shows experience. If one makes a mistake, he or she will know the incorrect procedure and then build on top of that to perform the procedure correctly the next the opportunity is present. Leon Shapiro is essentially hinting at this when he claims that every leader should make these mistakes early on in their ventures. As he states, “Quite simply, getting these big three business mistakes out of the way now will make you a better leader.” I’m not endorsing the purposeful act of these mistakes. However, why wouldn’t one want to have the most experience possible to help them become the best leader possible?
    As Shapiro suggest, there are three mistakes that every new leader should make: being an introvert, losing sight of ones surroundings, and not taking responsibility to fix a mistake. Shapiro believes that these mistakes will help a leader down the road be more efficient and effective. In the future, the leader will then not make these mistakes again and prevent them from happening at all.
    Having the privilege of being categorized as a leader by my peers, I can attest to how these mistakes can help one learn and prepare him or her for the future. For instance, being introverted with one’s thoughts is only detrimental. An outside perspective cannot only help clarify a situation, but it can also help determine what the best possible approach is for the situation. Although you may feel alone in this position, it is never wrong to ask for help. By asking for help, stronger bonds can be created with one’s peers and a more effective solution can be created. Keeping your thoughts to yourself could lead to more frustration than needed, which would obviously be detrimental. In addition, a leader must also make sure that he or she does not become too focused on what is happening right now. History tends to repeat itself, so the answers to several questions can be found in what has already happened in similar instances. Also, it is important to keep in mind how the decision that is about to be made might affect future decisions.
    Responsibility is a major key to success. One must know when to step up and take responsibility for a mistake, but responsibility also comes with reward – knowledge. This knowledge allows the person not to possibly make the same mistake again or it alerts the person if he or she is on the correct path to success. Therefore, the knowledge that comes with taking responsibility far outweighs the temporary negative effects of responsibility. By not taking responsibility, the correct path is being put aside and it will inevitably come up to negatively affect you. For example, if a person does not claim an unnamed test that is poorly graded, it could only hurt them. Granted, there might be embarrassment at first, but embarrassment can be overcome. Not claiming the test will lead to not knowing the correct information because the student will not know what he or she got incorrect. Therefore, that student will not be fully prepared for future exams. Taking responsibility will help in the long run, and not taking responsibility will ultimately hurt in the long run.
    Although mistakes may be a setback, that is all they are. The purpose of mistakes is to recognize what went wrong and how to proceed in a new, proper way. One can get caught up in a mistake, but that person will fail because he or she have lost sight of what is important. Focus on what needs to be accomplished, so there are fewer limitations. Rather than dwelling on the mistakes that were made, one should see them as a new opportunity to learn about his or herself and how not to approach the situation. Shapiro referred to the infamous Thomas Edison quote about learning how not to make a light bulb. Despite the controversy of Edison’s actual role in the making of the light bulb, he presents a very good point. After the first attempt, he did not give into his failure. Instead, he kept his goal in mind and worked towards with regards on where he went wrong. The more one knows, the more prepared the person will be for future opportunities.

  24. Gianna Tomeo February 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

    I liked this article because I feel it gave me information that I can use in my life. I am on the golf team at Seton Hall, and with that everyone has a role they play on the team. Furthermore, everyone is a leader in their own way, and learning how to be a good leader is a vital skill to attain. I think the concept of learning from former mistakes is a very important thing that every great leader goes through. To be a leader, you need to be able to make decisions for the people you are leading, as well as helping those people with advice. That advice comes from knowing what does not work from your mistakes, and therefore telling those people what does work from your victories. It is a proven fact that all great leaders have had times of failure in their lifetime. Good leaders should not keep their struggles to themselves. Showing that you are not perfect makes you less intimidating to the people you are leading, which in return helps them to have a great respect, and trust in you when you are giving them advice. A good example of this was when the public speaker Chris Herren came to Seton Hall to talk to students about drug use. He told us his story which consisted of many failures before his ultimate success of being drug free. His story was not only inspirational, but enlightening to those who may be having the same problem that he did by showing them that there is hope, and they can still be successful too. Being “real,” is one of the most admirable characteristics that someone can have. The last topic about how leaders should correct obvious mistakes immediately is very accurate. Sometimes being a leader means making decisions that you do not want to make but because it benefits the group as a whole you have to. I think this article can relate to anyone in life, not just leaders. People in general should want to be the leaders of their own life, and these three mistakes that might seem negative at first are really the foundation that makes people strong individuals in the world.

  25. Sarah C. February 10, 2016 at 11:25 am #

    I found the article “3 Mistakes Every New Leader Needs to Face Head-On” written by Leon Sharpiro to bring up very good points for not only leaders, but people in general. His first point was about how leaders tend to be lonely at the top. This could not only apply to leaders, but to anyone. I think this issue with being a leader is that sometimes a leader in his or her training have been so use to seeing examples, he or she might not know what to do when it comes to them being the leader themselves. They might look and seek the advice from others and are worried they will look weak if they do not know how to act as a leader. Being a leader is not always easy. You have to be willing to take critism from others, because not everyone is going to agree with your actions or opinions. However, having a group of people to lean on when making a decision could be imperative for leaders. I am on a board of an organization at my college. The president of our board always comes to us with ideas and new ways to go about a specific event or task. As a board member it is my duty to give my feedback to the president of her ideas and to fully support her goals and plans as well. It is important for our president, or leader, to know she has the boards’ support.
    The second mistake Sharpiro brings up is “Focusing Exclusively On The Present”. It is understandable that everyone is routed in tradition and are focused on repetition. However, everyday something new is arising. If something does not evolve it will go extinct. It is important for leaders to understand this concept or they might lose all the work he or she put in. Some might fear change because it is a gamble trying to change things up, however it a risk a leader must be willing to take. A leader must be bold and brash when trying something new. Also, if a leader is a good leader he will be able to motivate others when trying something new.
    The third mistake Sharpiro brought up in his article is “Not Correcting Obvious Mistakes Immediately”. Sometimes little things might go without notice or might seem miniscule for the big picture. I think this is one of the most important mistakes Sharpiro brings up that should not be over looked. If an owner of a company looks into the accounting and questions the spending amount, he or she might be on to an important mishap. It is important for a leader to be able to see this mistakes and take action. Some people might think the leader is trying to be critical over every detail, but those little details make up the big picture.

  26. Alyson Tom February 12, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Leaders are faced with numerous failures and mistakes. As hard as it is leaders need to learn from their mistakes, correct them, and then learn from them. This article highlights some of the most important mistakes people can learn from. The article targets mistakes that affect us as humans and even though they pertain to leadership these lessons will also help them grow to become better people.

    The first one he addresses is “keeping your struggle to yourself.” This one is such a significant one because as leaders a lot of times people do not want to show any weakness or signs of breaking down. People have this preconceived idea that all leaders are always confident and strong. However this is not true. Leaders are human and no matter how hard someone can try to brush off emotions, somehow all of these feelings will come out one way or another. It is unhealthy to hold and hide all of these emotions. By keeping all of your feelings inside, the emotions will just fester there and create grief and hate. Everyone needs someone to talk to. That is why there are guidance counselors in high schools and therapists. These jobs are here for a reason, they were made to help people deal with grief, pain, and frustration. Students get sent to the guidance counselor when teachers start noticing a difference in their work or if something traumatic happened at home. The counselor is there to listen and help them overcome this current obstacle. By having someone to confide with about how they feel, will lead the person to feel better overall. As a result of that their work performance should increase.

    The second one is, “focusing exclusively on the present”. While the first one focuses more on our human nature this one is focused on the business. He means that businesses have to be opened to change and innovation. In the article the author references businesses like Blockbuster. Blockbuster was around when I was kid and eventually all of their locations started closing down as I grew up. Blockbuster refused to adapt to the changing times in technology. They just stayed with the one idea of business that they knew and for them it was renting out DVDS. Blockbuster did not go away all at once. While blockbuster was losing business, another brand called Red Box started popping up everywhere as it allowed people to rent a movie for $1 a night. Eventually even that closed down as the times adapted to streaming from their cable company or buying it online. Companies need to have the capacity and willingness to change. ]

    The third one is, “not correcting obvious mistakes immediately.” Everyone makes mistakes because we are all human. We’re not made nor are we capable of doing everything right on the first try. We have to go through a trial and error process. People need to make mistakes, fall down, face adversaries and embarrassment in order to learn how to get back up and learn from it. In the article he wrote, “Don’t turn a mistake into an epic failure by waiting to take corrective action.” Making a mistake might seem bad in the scheme of things but letting it snowball into a bigger problem is worse. Making corrections right after the mistake is better in the long run rather than letting this mistake carry on. My teacher who was a retired Lieutenant Colonel always told us that if we were going to fail we should fail fast. Whenever he said this he wanted us to fail quickly, learn from it, and go back to fix it.

    The article opened up with a Thomas Edison quote saying, “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison, the man who invented the lightbulb made mistakes and faced failure like the rest of us. These mistakes teach us to be open with emotions, change, and how to face failure. Not only will these lessons help people grow as leaders but they have the ability to shape and influence them to become better people.

  27. MP March 20, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

    I really liked this article about the 3 mistakes new leaders need to face. The first mistake is keeping mistakes to oneself. I think it’s very important in leading people to admit your mistakes. Making mistakes and admitting them makes the leader more relatable. If a leader makes mistakes and tries to cover them up, their followers might look at them as dishonest and lose respect. Whenever I am in leadership positions, if I make a mistake, I always own up to it. It might be embarrassing at the moment, but the people you’re working with will gain respect for you through admitting your mistakes, and you also are letting them know it’s ok to makes mistakes and own up to then. This will help the team function better.

    Another mistake is focusing only on the present and not looking towards the future. The article gave the example of Kodak, who had the technology to go digital, but didn’t want to harm their film business. In the end other companies went digital, and harmed Kodak’s film business. Companies need to look to the future to make sure they are on the right path to stay in business. Some industries aren’t going to be sustainable in the future and businesses need to realize that to make sure they have a new path to take to keep up with advancing technology and new trends. If Kodak had realized they needed to go digital, they still might’ve been able to keep their film business alive through innovations to it. Polaroid cameras used to be very popular, but they are making a comeback since companies can make them more portable. Companies and their leaders should always think towards the future.

  28. Jessica Matos April 1, 2016 at 1:00 am #

    The first mistake listed is keeping all struggles to yourself. I could understand being the boss or a higher level employee and keeping some of the financial issues or serious issues private from the entire business, but there are some things that do not have to be kept a secret. No one should ever feel like he or she has no one to turn to, even when he or she is the highest person in the job. I do not believe that all leaders at the top need to feel lonely, or should expect that they will be lonely. I good leader should be someone that gets everyone involved and there should be a flat hierarchy so that no one feels that he or he will be judged on what comes out of his or her mouth.
    I agree with the article stating that making mistakes earlier on in his or her career are easier to deal with, then when there is important things at risk, such as a job. It also states to focus on the present and future, and not the past. The past teaches everyone lessons to get through life. Without those lessons, then everyone would act the same way in all different situations, not knowing what is the right way to respond. We need those lessons to help us realize what we should strive for in life, and what we need to do to get through certain experiences. The past shapes our future.
    These three mistakes do not always have to be involved in the work place. The mistakes might happen more frequently at businesses, but it could also happen in other places in life. Any type of relationship that deals with these mistakes; whether it is family members, friends, or couples in love. There are so many life situations where these mistakes occur, and we do not even notice it.

  29. John Ferry April 1, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” “In order to be old and wise, you first must be young and stupid.” “The only difference between a martial artist with a black belt and a martial artist with a white belt is that the black belt has failed more.” These awesome quotes teach us that failure is an inevitable part of the road to success. We all learn from doing, and if we do a lot of stuff, we’re bound to make mistakes, and leaders are no exception. If anything, leaders are like black belts – a CEO has made more mistakes than an intern. This is okay. However, there is another really good quote from Warren Buffett that says, “You can learn from mistakes, but they don’t have to be yours.” What I love about this article is that it’s doing just that.

    The first leadership mistake this article upon is keeping your struggles to yourself. They say that “it’s lonely at the top,” (I’m full of all these quotes today…), but that doesn’t have to be the case. Leaders aren’t superhumans who know everything; they still need others to help them. A good leader knows that learning never ends! You can always be smarter, better, or in short, a better leader. Even though it’s okay for a leader to ask for help, I do not think it’s justifiable for a leader to complain. A leader must lead by example, and show that he or she can face any challenge confidently. A leader doesn’t say, “this is too tough,” or, “I can’t do this.” A leader must be mentally tough because success demands a fit mentality.

    The second major leadership mistake is leading with horse blinders, and not focusing on the future. The article used Kodak as an example, and how they were unwilling to implement technology into their business. As a result, they went bankrupt in 2012. This teaches me that a leader has to be very aware of what’s around them. In order to keep up and stay ahead, they have to notice patterns, and recognize trends that no one else does. But that recognition is not enough, a leader must make a decision to take action with the trends in mind. This is why it is so important to stay up to date with the news. If you don’t know what’s going on in the world, how will you be able to thrive in it? I have to say that this is something I’m going to have to work on. I’m not completely clueless about the world around me, but I could definitely know more. I will work on it.

    The last mistake the article talks about is not taking action to correct obvious mistakes as soon as possible. This is especially difficult when it comes to hiring mistakes because those ‘mistakes’ are people. They have thoughts, ideas, and feelings. They are important. This makes one feel inclined to give them a second chance, or wait it out to see if they improve. To some extent, I still think this is true. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has an off day. However, as a leader, you need to make a decision about what’s best for the company. You need to decide if the person staying with the company is truly in the best interest of both the company and that person. I feel like making this kind of decision is a science and an art. It’s a science because part of it is observing how well the employee does his or her job. However, it’s an art because you also have to observe the person’s attitude. Are they motivated to be better? Do they maintain a positive energy and work well with others? These are the types of questions a leader needs to consider when making these kinds of decisions.

    I want to add another mistake that this article did not mention: It’s a mistake to believe that you have everything figured out. A leader needs to be confident, but not cocky. Socrates, the wisest man of all time, earned that title due to his awareness of his own ignorance. A leader should never stop learning. Men like Warren Buffett and BIll Gates are obsessive readers, and this habit of learning is a major part of their success. Never stop learning.

  30. Cailee Valente April 1, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    When I first began college I wanted to be a doctor. Now a doctor is a great profession that allows you to help people, and solve problems, but it does not really make you a leader. Yes, people who are natural born leaders can be doctors, but becoming a doctor will not necessarily turn you into one. During my freshman year, I thought long and hard about my future and what was the most efficient path for me. Eventually I turned toward business and contemplated a major in marketing. Marketing is not even at all what I want to do with my life, but I knew I was not interested in anything finance or accounting related, and definitely not equipped for IT. Then, throughout my extracurricular involvements which lead to personal and professional growth, I saw myself evolve more as a leader which lead me to my current major which is business management. I never saw myself as a follower, but I knew I could be too reserved or shy to be a leader in some situations. Envisioning my future as a business leader makes me realize that I have a lot to learn and a lot of mistakes to make. This article caught my attention because I know that the future is not going to be easy and I know that there are hardships and failures that I encounter.
    Luckily, like Thomas Edison, I view a failure with a more positive rather than negative mindset. It is important that failing does not discourage you from reaching a goal because then you will ALWAYS give up. Most things in life are not going to be easy and they are going to take multiple attempts and new ideas in order to happen. You aren’t always going to get the first job you apply to, your first business venture might fail, and it might take doing poorly in a few different classes in order to find out your major. The point is that your mind is strong and your viewpoint and beliefs are a huge aspect of your success. If you are too one-sided about everything and then you end up failing, you might let that stop you completely from trying again. Edison is very inspiring which is very important to me. Sometimes when life is overwhelming with school, personal, social, professional, and other issues, it feels like the easy way out is to give up. Edison’s single example reminds not just students, but everyone, never to give up because eventually you will reach your goals.
    With leadership comes trial and error, and as long as your goals are in mind the entire time, and you are persistent with your positive ideologies, you will succeed. Every mistake, success, and occurrence that you endure throughout your journey are your experiences. This article also includes a quote by Oscar Wilde which says that your mistakes are more than just mistakes, they are experiences. Experiences teach you life lessons and teach you what to do and what not to do and all of these aspects are what builds your character as a leader.

  31. M.A April 10, 2016 at 12:08 am #

    Most of us might have a dream to be a leader in the organization we work for. Of course it is a hard job, and the person who wants to be leader should work hard, and present him or herself to achieve that position. When I had to do my career path for my Career Management class, I mentioned that I want to be leader. After that, the professor sat with me, and actually talked about two of the points that are mentioned in the article.
    First, she mentioned that leaders should seek help if they are struggling with anything. Leaders are not disconnected from other employees, and they should not keep the struggle to themselves. At first, I always thought if a manager asked for help from an employee, it would give a sign of a weakness. But she explained that consulting is important when being a leader. Second, she talked about correcting any mistake at the time it happens. If leaders leave it as it from some time, it may get to be a bigger problem that effects the whole organization. As a new leader in the future, I took those points seriously, because avoiding those points will make me an effective leader. That will not be good for me only, but for the whole organization.

  32. Veera Sandhu April 10, 2016 at 12:33 am #

    The real leaders are the product of cycle of never ending mistakes that they make and learn from it. A leader must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. Leaders don’t seek or welcome mistakes, yet by its very nature, mistakes offer a gift to leaders who rise to the challenge and reinvent themselves and their organizations. Almost anyone can lead but not many can lead and take responsibility when issues go awry. True leaders take responsibility and build confidence and trust instead of blaming fate, the economy, politics, customers, shippers, taxes etc. They control what they can control and cope with the rest. If leaders want business success, they have to look clearly at their mistakes and stop repeating them. They need to work with their employees, not against them, to accomplish this. Even a small mistake can have big consequences, and repeating it can cost an employee his or her job, lose customers and kill the company brand.
    When the company wins, the team wins. But the leader has to take responsibility when the outcome is disappointing.
    The point of this article is not to discourage them from their mistake but encourage them from their own mistakes, take responsibility, and learn from them.

  33. A.M April 10, 2016 at 2:30 am #

    I find this article very interesting. There is no doubt that everyone makes mistakes, in fact no one is perfect enough not to. But those who learn from them are the wise ones. I like how they article proved this point by quoting one of Edison’s famous quotes. “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”.
    I like how the article present each idea with a logical example. Paying attention to such issue in order to prevent it from happening in the future is definitely important. Otherwise, such leaders would seem weak and unbelievable. It’s important that they don’t reveal their weaknesses to anyone. It’s also important for leader to focus on the present more than the future, and try to develop the current statue of the situation, whether it’s a leader of a company or a country, the same law applies. Lastly, when a leader of a company or organization determined obvious mistakes within his workplace. He must not try to fix them right away, and perhaps give others more time to figure where the issue is and fix it themselves. This way it gives people a chance to learn and prove themselves.

  34. Briann Downes November 2, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

    People always think the title of a leader is an easy one to have. However, leaders possess a great deal of responsibility and there is a lot of room for mistakes. This article discusses 3 mistakes that all leaders must face early on. The first is keeping struggles bottled up. This is a problem that affects many because people do not want to open up and interact with colleagues when a problem arises. Nonetheless, leaders must understand that in order to rise to the top, one has to learn from others. The second mistake is focusing on the present. This is a mistake that numerous major companies make and even many individuals make in everyday life. People are afraid of making changes and experimenting. In order to move up to the rankings of a leader, one must be open to new ideas and adaptation. The third mistake mentioned in the article is not correcting mistakes immediately. It is easy to try to push a mistake to the side and continue on hoping the mistake will eventually work itself out. This simply digs the person or the company into a bigger hole. A leader must acknowledge mistakes and correct them as soon as possible.
    I have seen these mistakes take place with many leaders. Yet, I have also seen leaders overcome these mistakes. The example that kept coming to my mind when reading this article was my high school track coach. She was one who was very open to correcting mistakes right as they occurred. If the team had a bad race, she would evaluate the effort right away and come up with a solution, whether it was a change in the workouts or a change in the recovery. If something was not going right with training, it was fixed. My coach was also great at talking to us and other coaches to get feedback. She had a lot of friends and family that were also coaches; she used their knowledge and experience and would apply it to her coaching strategy. With that being said, she was never stuck in the present. She was willing to take a risk and change things in the training if it was going to benefit the team in the future. She continues to be a great leader to this day and defends Shapiro’s conclusions in this article.

  35. Harrison McClure November 2, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

    As humans, all of us make mistakes. The key is that whenever we make a mistake we need to learn from it. This is especially important for leaders. At some point in our lives we have all come face to face with a person of power who can never seem to do any wrong. If you are a stubborn person in nature, you will have to fix that flaw if you ever want to become a successful leader. When someone makes a mistake, it is not the mistake that they are later judged for by their peers, but how they react to the mistake they have made. Keeping your composure when making a mistake is just as important as learning from the mistake you made, because as a leader, people are judging and looking up to you at every moment of the day. Realizing that your every move is in a microscope is a good thought to have in the back of your mind, because if you think this way you are more likely to keep your actions under control.

    Another thing that leaders always need to have in mind is that every leader is only as good as the people who they are leading. You can only help the people you are working with to a certain extent. For example, Bill Bellichek is the best head coach in the National Football League. He is definitely going to the pro football Hall of Fame, and for good reason. However, if he were to get traded to the Cleveland Browns who are the worst team in the NFL, he still wouldn’t be that successful of a head coach. He would definitely get the absolute most out of all the players on the Brown’s roster, but he can only do so much with a roster that desperately lacks elite talent.

  36. Joseph Padula November 2, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

    Individuals always associate the title of a ‘leader’ is someone that is the best or the smartest or, simply, lucky to be in that gets payed more than everyone else. What people do not understand is the amount of time, pressure, and responsibility these individuals of authority are put on being in such a position. In this article the author, Leon Shapiro, discusses three inevitable mistakes a leader will come across during his position and how they must be experienced early on in one’s career to ensure that are able to move past it. The first of the three struggles is keeping their hardships all to themselves. This is very important problem to fix due to the fact that it is a false stigma that comes along with the title. People think that as a leader they have to endure all the stress and struggles of the project alone or else it would make them seem unfit for the position. This assumption could not be more false because being able to reach out for help and including one’s team in a problem can help it solve that issue quicker and, also, improve the chemistry of the team. Chemistry is very important because if an individual feels comfortable being themselves and sharing their concerns with the team the better they will most likely perform for that given team. The second mistake is being close sighting and only focusing on what is in front of you rather than plan for the future. This is seen as a mistake various not only the leaders of a group but everyone makes in their everyday lives because it is more comfortable to focus on the now and not the unknown. This shows how people are afraid of improving and only want to sustain in that one position for the rest of their lives. This is a bad characteristic to have especially in a company’s perspective since their business will most likely not survive with that type of mindset. The last of the three mistakes is failing to resolve a mistake as soon as it is made and waiting on it. Although it is understood that is so much easier to push something off till later, it only prolongs that activity. At some point or another an individual is going to have to correct that mistake and it is a lot easier to correct right away than 6 months after the fact. Like my BLAW Professor, Jack Shannon, always says “when you are digging a hole and it gets over your head… you have to stop digging and get out.” Exactly what is happening here because prolonging that mistake will be a domino effect causing more mistakes and eventually evolving into a problem that can no longer be fixed. These three mistakes are essential to overcome to become a successful leader in any situation.

    Furthermore, I am a member of the Leadership Development Honors Program at Seton Hall and some of the fundamental skills we learn help us avoid making these mistakes illustrated in this article. One thing the Program always reminds me of and that is that I am human. That entails that I am going to make mistakes and going to encounter obstacles and the only way to overcome these barriers is to use my team as support and not be afraid to ask for help. No man or woman is too big or experienced to ask for help. To become a better leader for my business career and my personal life all I need to do is to watch out for these three mistakes and surpass them when they arise.

  37. Ryan Grasso November 4, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

    For almost all student in business colleges the ultimate goal would be to reach the pinnacle of your field of choice, whether that be CEO, CFO, or CMO the list can go on. Being the leader means you are the best in your position and you are the model your company wants as an example for all other employees. This does not mean that you have to be flawless in everything you do in the position. Whenever someone takes a new job it is inevitable that mistakes will be made, as this article says it is better to get them out of the way early and learn from them while you still can. Making mistakes once will allow for growth in the corporation, but making these mistakes and not learning from them is what can cause businesses to collapse. I believe this is an important article to read for anyone who is aspiring to be in a leadership position in the future.

    Learning from mistakes is one of the best ways to learn anything, whether it be algebra, chemistry, or leadership skills. People in general hate to admit when we are wrong, especially when we are in a leadership position. I believe that the ability to admit that we have made a mistake and learn from it is one of the best qualities that leaders can possess. The three mistakes that Leon Shapiro discusses in his article are some of the most important ones to make. I agree with his analysis of the three points, but there are even more lessons that could be learned as a leader and the list does not have to end after these three. One of the keys to being a strong leader is being well rounded in all facets. This article was an excellent starting point when it comes to introducing some important points to becoming a leader. These points also have relevance in the real world.

    One example which can be taken from recent news is the case of Wells Fargo and former CEO John Stumpf. The Wells Fargo case has been well documented, and I believe we could apply the three concepts from the article to this situation. It is well known that CEO Stumpf new about the scandal many years ago, and so did some other upper level executives, but if Stumpf had made the first mistake early in his career he could have potentially handled the situation better. If he had used a sounding board of his peers it would have been possible that his opinion of the selling technique could have changed and he could have put a stop to it before it turned into a corporate wide issue. The second point, focusing on the present, it seems to me that Stumpf was only focusing on the present when he let this scandal carry on. I believe as more time went on the tactics of Wells Fargo would have been more easily discovered. If Stumpf had the long run in mind he would have realized this point, and prevented the continuation of opening fraudulent accounts. The third mistake is potentially the most important, correcting obvious mistakes promptly. In 2011 when Stumpf was first alerted to the fraud scandal he should have put an immediate end to it. There is no ethical way that Stumpf could have justified what was happening in his company and therefore should have ended the scandal before it ever began to gain momentum in the company. This scandal resulted in the loss of Stumpfs job, which shows the importance of learning from these mistakes in the small scale, so when larger scale situations arise leaders know how to handle them.

  38. Ron Simpkins June 16, 2017 at 9:12 pm #

    This article speaks directly to the absence of feedback when in managerial positions. I’ve witnessed bosses struggling in this area. I’ve watched them unsuccessfully try to insert authority to drive subordinates’ motivation and abilities. My boss has spoke at length about some of the internal struggles that are bothersome. For example, his unwillingness to show any type of frustration or uncertainty. I sense the frustrations, especially, when he unloads in long winded rants or tries to appear like he’s in control. My workplace is in transition with new personnel, direction, leadership, and technology. During this transition, peer support is lacking throughout the organization. I find this dishearten because managers and employees drive success. I find it surprising that leadership hasn’t recognize the mortal has fallen among the workers but also the managers. And, especially, the managers that want to move up the ladder. The article suggest pursuing leadership outside the organization. Although, recently, my organization suggested personnel to use the peer mentorship program, I will definitely take this into consideration of maybe seeking wisdom from the outside. It is lonely when you want to raise to the top, and more so, when there’s a passion to be better. However, finding a safe place to voice concerns and frustrations to an unbiased ear is hard to find. As, the article suggest, it’s important to not linger in self-doubt, uncertainty, and protectionism. There are many other organizations or areas of society that’s failing themselves and the people around them. Lasty, I will be looking to correct mistakes immediately and encourage others to do the same. It is amazing how mistakes or lack of knowledge can create such a backlog of unfinished work. I am guilty of leaving mistakes unaddressed for weeks. And, it does become a burden, not only to oneself, but the organization and colleagues. I agree with the article in facing mistakes to avoid bigger problems down the road. In order to minimize mistakes everyone has to make an expectation or standard that must be met in order to proceed to the next step.

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