a book of your best…

Posted on Wednesday.3.10.2010


I recently read Nancy Ortberg’s Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands. The book is a compilation of some of Ortberg’s best and simplest leadership lessons. I highly recommend this book to any leader and/or learning leader.

One of the stickiest lessons from the book was something that Ortberg asks her daughter to do upon entering her freshman year of college. She asks her college-bound daughter to keep a mistake journal of all the mistakes she makes.

Though it may seem like a mistake journal would make a person even more insecure by having to face their mistakes on a regular basis, Ortberg provides a clear purpose for this type of journal writing. She states ” Unless we get comfortable in both our mistakes and what we learn from them, we inadvertently create organizational cultures of fear and sameness.” So instead of continually running away from the mistakes we make, by getting into the practice of writing them down, we can become more comfortable with ourselves and the mistakes we will inevitably make.

Action Steps (some adapted from the book):

1. Write down three mistakes every day. Since you’re going to be documenting them, make sure they’re good ones, not made up ones.
2. Sleep easy realizing that the “world was still spinning on its axis and tomorrow is another day.”
3. Review your past mistakes once a month to see your growth and comfort with certain types of mistakes.

Posted in: leadership