Handing over the reins

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We are all afraid to make mistakes, yet they are at the core of learning. We learn to walk by repeatedly falling down.

So it’s hard to hand the reins to people when you know they will make mistakes—when you are counting on them to make mistakes.

Leadership does not mean control. In fact, quite the opposite. Succesful leaders empower people to make decisions and, most importantly, mistakes. The trick is to make sure their mistakes are in the right direction.

We encourage our people to take risks—to step outside their comfort zones as long as their actions are generous. If you make a mistake by being overly generous it can put smiles on faces. The opposite turns smiles into frowns.

If we encourage mistakes of the right kind the rewards are many: we learn, we grow, we prosper.

If we grip the reins too tightly, before you know it, we’re blaming the horse for getting lost.