10thHuman: What To Do When You Make a Mistake


Make it right, if you can.

Try to forgive yourself.

We all make mistakes. We are but human. When we do, I think the three steps above are the starting point for addressing the mistake and trying to rebuild the damaged trust.

I know that when I make a mistake, for me #3 – forgive yourself – is the hardest. I often cannot move past a mistake mentally unless the person against whom I have transgressed offers forgiveness or at least acknowledgement that I offered an apology.

From a business perspective, I would offer that there is a step 4. Actually, as I type this I realize this is both a personal and business step (given the nature of this blog, I automatically started to step through a business process / checklist). That is: figure out how to prevent such an error as caused the mistake from happening again.

As a businessperson, maybe this evaluating the process you were going through and adding a step to a checklist.  As a human, this is engaging in introspection and perhaps asking yourself, “How did I wrong this person? Is this something I can change about myself or the way I conduct myself?”

I would offer that the very concept that spawned this blog – the 10th man concept – is itself a process aimed at preventing errors. Essentially, the job of the 10th man in an organization is to argue against the boss’ decisions, regardless of how they really feel about it. In this process, the thought is that it enables the boss make better decisions.

I don’t offer definitive answers here, only food for thought from one imperfect human.

Leisure without study is death – a tomb for the living person.

credit: pixabay

“Leisure without study is death – a tomb for the living person.”Seneca

This is the lesson in The Daily Stoic today.

What does leisure look like to you?

To me, it’s a good book, a book that either transports or informs.

10thHuman: Are you doing the busy things or the important things?

Original image: pixabay
Original image: pixabay

As you go through your day do you find yourself doing the busy work or the important tasks?

Have you as a business owner taken the time to map out which is which?

Do you have a battle rhythm? A battle rhythm is a mapped out baseline plan for your day, a list of minimum, mandatory tasks or processes aimed at sustaining and building your business. It is also a career decision.

10th Human: A sustainable battle rhythm is a career decision

20160731 OODAI had an hour drive in the car this morning and chose Tim Ferris’ podcast with Seth Godin to pass the time. There were a solid dozen ‘nuggets’ I jotted down for future follow up and thought but I want to share one with you today.

When asked about his habit of blogging daily (a decision I’ve recently begun here), Mr. Godin referred to this as a ‘career decision’. This was an intentional decision on his part, one of 5 or 6 he has made in his career, he stated.

That really landed with me. I use the language of a “battle rhythm” in my business (twenty years of military service left me with a lingering affinity for the lingo). A concept I’ve been struggling to articulate concisely for a little while is the why of having a sustainable battle rhythm is so important. It seems apparent that a business owner wants to have this because consistency and reliability build brand trust. However, Seth’s phrasing of a daily habit like blogging as a career decision really stuck with me.

In sum, having a sustainable battle rhythm is also a career decision.

P.S. I should probably define what I mean by battle rhythm. My definition here is: those minimum, mandatory tasks you do on a continual basis to maintain your business.

What is your ‘battle rhythm’?

I think a lot about “adding value” and sustainability in my business.

image from pixabay
image from pixabay

I try very hard to not take on new tasks that I can’t maintain (a hard, hard lesson to learn).

There are a couple questions I have learned over time to ask myself as I start down the path of any new process/task/venture.

  1. Does the task add value?
  2. Does it cost more than the value it adds?
  3. Is the task sustainable?
  4. Am I reacting to a problem or am I proactively preventing a problem?

What would you add to this list?

I call my list of minimum, mandatory daily processes my ‘battle rhythm’ (I can’t shake 20 years of being in the military). These are processes/actions I feel maintain, sustain and grow my business.

Is such a practice necessary? I think so. Effective, value added habits are necessary to build your platform.

You may be asking, “Where do I even start with this?” Let’s start by having you keep a log of your actions for the next work week. Change nothing, just do what you do, only keep a diary of it. At the end of the week, take a couple of hours and look at this diary.

Some questions you could ask at the end of this period of time:

What did you do that added value?

What could you delegate?

What should you eliminate?

If it adds value, how can you maintain it? If it doesn’t, can you eliminate or delegate the task?