Great leaders learn from the past – they don’t beat themselves up about what has happened or some of the mistakes they have made!

Experiences and events in our lives play a major part in our levels of confidence to do a job. But have you ever noticed how two people can go through the same experience yet one is confident and the other is not? Why is this?

Well, it’s often what is done with the experience that makes the difference. Those people with high confidence levels learn from experiences rather than dwell on them. Failure is an opportunity to learn from mistakes and take stock of the situation. In fact, don’t even use the word failure! What if you were to consider there were no failures, only experiences?

Can you remember when you learned to walk? At first, you would have fallen over – a lot! Did you give up because this led to a lack of confidence? Of course not, how ridiculous that notion is! You learned to walk BECAUSE of these failures.

Have you come across the Marshmallow Challenge? It’s an exercise often used in leadership and team development programmes as well as a great stand-alone for conferences. In studies of groups taking part, among the better teams are recent graduates of kindergarten! Not only do they consistently produce taller structures, theirs are highly creative too.

But why? Again and again, they build smaller structures, continually learning from the previous one. Compare this to business students who have been taught that there is one right way and they stick to it!

So, encourage your team to try new ways of working and draw out the learning from experiences. The real winners in life DO make mistakes. Winners, however, learn from these moments whereas losers will usually give up when the going gets tough.

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