Elephants: Long memories

Do you remember every one of my mistakes? I do.

Whereas I do not wallow in my unsuccesses, they are a reference point for my caravanning trek. A board colleague recently shared the concept of a success template, a systems approach to analyze, dissect and rebuild successes. Equally useful is a mistakes template. With the cyclical nature of life, we journey through repeated circumstances, even if the participants, goals or details may be different.

Utilized in another fashion, I am an advocate for consequences (as if consequences need me to validate them!). Intimacy with the consequences of our actions / inactions is a powerful growth tool. When working with my team, I will coach a colleague towards a more beneficial or effective practice but will also require that they personally work to rectify the fallout from their mistakes. It is not a cruelty nor punishment; it is, in fact, a powerful opportunity for them to become better, as well as a deterrent to rebuild that mistake later in another circumstance.

Pain, embarrassment and disappointment are not, in themselves, negative. In a healthy environment, they are a natural result of some actions / inactions. How much better to view them within a larger context of further growth on our caravanning journey? It’s a great trek.


  1. As each generation seeks to right the wrongs of the previous... it seems the pendulum often swings too far. And this generation seems to be avoiding, rejecting and fighting against admitting fault and dealing with consequences. It's heartbreaking to watch parents protect their kids from consequences. We all need to walk the journey of humility. It produces such strength and beauty. If only all bosses (teachers, colleges, parents...) had vision like yours... where mistakes are seen as opportunities instead of being grounds for firing!

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Justine.

    If approached, I think we can learn much more from our pain and mistakes than we often can from our successes.


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