What managers can learn from my mistakes are don’t do them, please avoid them. But of course you’re going to go do them.

The important thing isn’t are you going to avoid the particular mistakes that I made or that somebody else made or that somebody in a book that you read made.  The important thing is that you are going to make your own.  You’re going to find your own way to screw things up and that’s really okay. 

That is what part of learning and being a manager is. But the important thing is to be open to figuring out how did I mess up, how can I learn from that and get better? So some of the mistakes I made - not setting expectations right, not getting the right people onboard, trying to drive too hard on the details and the facts of a situation rather than understanding peoples' motivations for being involved - I made every possible first-year mistake that a first-year manager can make. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock