September 17th, 2013
As a stereotypical, overprotective father of two daughters, I often reflect on the things I try and protect them from and the situations I have them avoid. I want to use my experiences to help them become more successful as students in school as well as in everyday life.
However, as I look back at the 40+ years of experiences, I have found that the mistakes I have made are really what shape me into the person I am today. Many of those mistakes are things I don’t think I could go through again. But I also know those same tough experiences have made me a stronger and smarter person today. So I sometimes ask myself, am I doing the right thing by helping my children avoid these potential tough learning experiences?
How does all this relate to windows and remodeling? As owners of remodeling and home improvement companies, how often do we try and have younger and new people in our organizations avoid the pitfalls of potentially bad experiences? Do we sometimes just take care of it because it is faster and easier? We can justify taking over or taking control because we need it done right or we can’t afford letting our ‘newbies’ make mistakes.
But provided there aren’t catastrophic consequences, is it okay to let our less experienced folks skin their knees a little bit? To offer full disclosure, I have been guilty of all the above at different times. But looking at several situations that have occurred over the past couple of years or so, I am finding that by allowing my less experienced people the freedom to make mistakes, not only do they learn the best way to accomplish things, many times I learn from them as well. I also have found their learning curves to be shorter because they aren’t as tentative when making decisions.
All of our businesses have started to really climb on the innovation train and our construction industry is evolving at the speed of light. Many times those less experienced folks have taught me a thing or two that I hadn’t considered before about different situations.
I haven’t conquered the mountain of knowing everything yet and hope that I never do. But my experience has taught me, it’s okay to make a mistake and it’s okay to let the people you work with make mistakes as long as you learn from them. Someone told me a mistake really isn’t a mistake unless you make it over and over again.