Everybody makes mistakes in both their personal and professional lives, the types of mistakes and how we handle them…on this episode of The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten.  We agree that an important trait in the people you work with is their willingness to take full ownership of their mistakes.  As Steli says, 100 percent ownership,  100 percent of the time.  If somebody doesn’t take ownership of a mistake, all of a sudden it’s your job to make them take ownership, make them feel responsible, micromanage them and all that is bad for business.

Fortunately, most of the people we work with are willing to take full ownership of their mistakes.  On the post-mortem side of the mistake, we expect that when an employee has caused a problem that they communicate and make sure people know what happened, and how they intend to fix.  Steli adds that after it’s communicated,  he is looking for that employee to spend at least a minute and think about why the mistake happened and what to do next before asking for help.

After a bit of brainstorming in this episode we developed the Mistake Framework.  Divided into four quadrants here’s how each section would be titled:

  • Old Mistakes – the mistakes that are repeatedly made that have a pattern to them
  • New Mistakes – the mistakes just made and those that allow you to look at the mistake as a way to prevent it from happening again
  • Bad Mistakes – the mistakes that could have been avoided by using common sense
  • Good Mistakes – the mistakes that allow you, or your company,  to learn something and move forward in a better way

Today’s Tips:

Hiten: If you feel like you make a lot of mistakes, take our framework and start plotting them on the graph so you can understand what kind of mistakes you’re making.  Categorizing your mistakes can be really helpful.  Most people don’t like thinking about their mistakes, don’t be that person.

Steli: For the next 30 days, as an experiment, try owning every single mistake that is made in your startup. If you owned it 100 percent, what would you have to do to move forward?

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