Don’t Bury the Correction (387)

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On this episode of the How’d It Happen podcast, Mike Malatesta discusses the importance of not burying corrections and owning up to mistakes. He draws parallels between newspapers burying corrections and leaders hiding mistakes and emphasizes the value of learning from mistakes and making progress.

Mike shares his personal experience of learning to embrace mistakes and the value of owning up to them. He highlights the negative impact of burying corrections and encourages leaders to create a culture of transparency and learning.

Mike challenges the conventional tactic of hiding mistakes and he emphasizes the importance of using them as opportunities for growth. Tune in for valuable insights on leadership, personal development, and creating a culture of accountability.

Quote from the episode:

“The learning that comes from making mistakes is the value and ultimately it’s the freedom, it’s the freedom to let people go. It’s the freedom to try new things and make tremendous progress.”

Check out the video version of this episode below:

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Episode transcript below:

Speaker Mike Malatesta: Hey everybody. It’s Mike, and welcome back to this Solo episode. Of the how’d it happened podcast and I’m calling this episode, “don’t bury the correction.” Don’t bury the correction. And I was inspired to do this because I’d noticed And I actually heard some people talking about this too that newspapers and news outlets generally speaking, they have this thing that they like to do when they call burying the correction. Meaning that if they had a story, say it was a front page story or a prominent story anywhere in the newspaper, and they determine or they discover that they made a mistake on some part of the story, they will publish their corrections. In the Wall Street Journal, they call it corrections and amplifications, I think. And what’s interesting about it is that corrections are in the Wall Street Journal, at least, are on Page two or three or four. And then there’s a little sort of down near the bottom kind of looks like an ad almost and it’ll say where they are admitting that they made some type of error in a story. And it’s a little frustrating because, you know, I’m sure that people there on the receiving end of headline where the where the mistake the headline and the story where the mistake was originally made get very limited satisfaction, I would imagine. Out of this little very small fraction that they buried in a subsequent addition way down like where I said. And it got me thinking that it’s not just newspapers that do this. It’s not just newspapers that do this. No one or very few people are like to admit that they’ve made a mistake. Right? Because mistakes look bad and we’ve been taught that mistakes are bad that if you make a mistake, you get punished or you get corrected, and people don’t like to get punished or corrected as a general rule. And so mistakes are often very whether it’s in your personal life or whether it’s in business. And I got me thinking about leadership because I’ll use my personal experience. For much of my career, I was very, very, very, well, I hated making mistakes. And when I made a mistake, I thought it reflected poorly on me, and it was not something that I wanted to publicize. I did not wanna, you know, start waving my arms and saying, hey, I just made a mistake and here it is and I’m so proud of it. Of course, That’s not what I did. But over time, it started to dawn on me that if I was doing that with mistakes that I was making, I was probably encouraging people around me to do the same thing. To hide it when they made a mistake, to bury it, to try to protect the secrecy of the mistake. And I can think of so many times when that happened in my career, like a driver would back into something and damage the vehicle. Wouldn’t say anything because that’s a mistake. And if the driver thought he or she could get away with not admitting to it, then that was the action that they might take, and that’s just one example. But when you think about it, if that’s what we’re if that’s how we are as leaders, where we’re hiding mistakes, And by doing so, maybe maybe we’re encouraging people on our team to do the same thing. What’s the value? What’s the lesson? How are we going to improve as an organization or as a leader or just as a person? If we’re doing what the newspapers do and doing what we’ve been taught maybe all along to do, which is take our mistakes and put them somewhere where they either will likely not be noticed or perhaps they’ll be forgotten or overlooked. And my one word answer to that question and about the value is that there’s no value. There’s absolutely zero value in hiding a mistake because think about it. When you own up to a mistake, when a mistake is made public, that’s where the value is. That’s when the learning can start happening. When they’re hidden, we’re not learning from them. And as a result, we’re going to make the same mistake over and over and over again, or we’re going to keep burying our corrections, and you know, there they lay, not doing us any good as we move forward to the future. I feel like I know that bringing mistakes to the forefront studying why they happened, why we made the mistake, and most of all figuring out we can fix it and if we don’t know how we can fix it, at least figure out what step can we take that we think might have the potential to fix it, I mean that’s where the power of making mistakes comes from, the progress that you can get from making a mistake. You’re always going to make mistakes. We’re always going to make mistakes because we’re human and we’re always looking to move ahead and when we move ahead, we don’t always know what we need to do. You can always get it right. And we don’t need to because the learning that comes from making mistakes is the value and ultimately it’s the freedom, it’s the freedom to let people go. It’s the freedom to try new things and it’s the freedom to make tremendous progress all without the fear of making a mistake and feeling like you need to vary the correction. So I thank you for investing your time with me. I hope you got some value out of this podcast today. And if you did, please share it. And until next time, please maximize the greatness that’s inside of you and make your future your property. Something you are very proud to own.

Alexi Cortopassi

Alexi Cortopassi

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I help entrepreneurs get unstuck, take back their power, achieve their life objectives, and create the futures they want.

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