Mistakes aren't failures

We shouldn't be afraid to fail.  When it happens, we shouldn't waste energy trying to cover up.  It's all right to fail as long as you learn from your failure and go on to the next challenge.  If you're not failing, you're not growing.

Barbara Corday ( is an American television executive, writer and producer known for co-creating the television series Cagney & Laceyhas something to say about failure in On Becoming a Leader, an excellent book by Warren Bennis (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.).

Barbara Corday was co-author (with Barbara Avedon) of the TV movie, Cagney and Lacey, which was the basis of the highly acclaimed TV series, but in the Bennis book she talks about one of her flops.

"My favorite project" she said, "a TV series called American Dream, had a lot of things to say, was executed brilliantly, written and acted well, and produced beautifully.  It was a critical success, but for whatever reason, the public chose not to watch it, and it lasted only five or six episodes.  It was a flop, but I don't see it as a failure.  It also wasn't a mistake.  Mistakes aren't failures either, and I don't take them seriously.  It's okay to make mistakes, as long as you make them in good conscience and you're doing the best you can at the moment...I'm not afraid to make a mistake, and I'm not afraid to say afterward, 'Boy, that was a mistake. Let's try something else.' I think that wins people over.  Now, I don't make mistakes purposely to win people over, but when I make one, I admit it.  I can also say, 'You have a better idea than I have. Let's do your idea.'"

This is great advise we can all incorporate in our day to day life.


Freda Cornelius
Freda Cornelius

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