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Not Making Mistakes Is The Biggest Mistake

By Joey Havens

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Whenever our grandson, Davis, would ride with us to our old house, we would cross a wooden bridge to enter the Northshore section of the lake. Almost every time, Davis would say “CeCe, do you remember when Pops broke the boat?” 

When Davis was about 3 years old, he and his dad were on the boat with us. I had just recently acquired the boat, so I was still learning about being the captain. We cruised over to go under the bridge. What I didn’t know at the time was that the canopy was too tall to go under the bridge. So, BAM! Thank goodness it just collapsed and didn’t hurt anyone. Davis has never forgotten that boat ride. Neither have I, and now I never forget to take the canopy down. I learned from that mistake, and I am a safer and better helmsman as the result. 

We should learn from our mistakes and, if we are not making any, then we are probably not doing enough new and challenging things. Mistakes help you grow and evolve and teach you valuable life lessons. I know that I will make mistakes in my journey and as a leader, and I let that worry me sometimes. I certainly don’t have all the answers and even struggle to ask the right questions at times. I have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do. I certainly need my teams support in my journey. But, it helps when I know that they will give me a second chance like Davis does.  

Davis still loves to go boating with me. He always asks if we can go under the wooden bridge and never hesitates to remind me to put the canopy down. He trusts that I have learned from my mistakes, but he loves to talk about that first time.  

“Pops, remember when you broke the boat?”