In school, making mistakes is bad. The students who make the fewest mistakes are called smart. But in the world of business, making a mistake, admitting the mistake, and then learning how to turn that bad luck into good luck, is essential for success. Einstein stated that only two things are infinitethe universe and human stupidity. However, I would add that a human beings ability to learn is also infinite. As an entrepreneur, your mistakes may hurt your business, but so can your employees mistakes. Often, if you attempt to correct employees and ask them to take responsibility and learn from their mistakes, they may leave, look for a new job, and let you be the one to pay for their mistakes. This is one reason why most entrepreneurs remain small with as few employees as possible. If an entrepreneur is a poor leader or lacks people skills, employees can be liabilities, not assets. Making matters worse, employees can turn into criminals when the going gets tough, or when you turn your back, or when they believe that the money you have earned belongs to them. There are many crooks and con men in the business world. In the world of criminals, there are two basic types of crimes: violent crimes and white-collar crimes. Violent crimes generally involve a victim and a weapon or traumatic force. Most white-collar crimes are not prosecuted because lying, stealing, cheating, and incompetence, without a weapon or bodily harm, are tough to prove. In other words, in business, the biggest criminals you will meet are often honest, well-educated people who lack emotional maturity and strength of character. They turn into criminals when things do not go their way. In my life, I have only lost something to violent crime just once, while in the university. I have lost the most money to people who did well in school. They were smart people who believed they were the smartest people on earth and could never make a mistake, nor admit to making a mistake. This is not intelligence. This is arrogance, a tragic character flaw. An arrogant person cannot take feedback, learn, change or correct in a fast changing world. They get left behind. One of the most important lessons taught at military school is the ability to take feedback. On the first day of military school, feedback is truly in your face. It was amazing how many very smart young men cracked, cried, and quit simply because of this in-your-face pressure. Entrepreneurs are always taking feedback, especially from their customers, bankers, workers, and sales force. Without straightforward feedback, entrepreneurs cannot make sound decisions. If the entrepreneur is surrounded by yes-people or butt-kissers, the business is in very big trouble.
By Aaron .C. Elekwachi. B.LIS, BMS, member, CDHR.
Co-founder, Elaasi Instant Foods.