Make Mistakes Once

Kara Powell | Mar 29, 2010

A few weeks ago, one of my dear mentors and her husband invited Dave and me, along with another pastor and her husband, to a 48 hour getaway in Arizona. We stayed at a marvelous place, ate marvelous food, and most importantly, had marvelous conversations.

One of the books we read ahead of time was Relational Leadership: A Biblical Model for Influence and Service by Walter Wright, Executive Director of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership here at Fuller. Walts book has tons of great quotes and insights, many of which are built upon other leadership theorists. Ill take some time in the next few blogs to share some of my personal favorites.

Walt writes, Effective leaders do not allow the team to become paranoid about mistakes. You cannot prevent them all. The principle is to try not to make the same mistake twice! Learn from mistakes. If people are not making mistakes, they are not trying new things. If they are making the same mistake twice, they are not learning new things!”

I love this perspective about making mistakes - but making them only once. I think it strikes a good balance between grace and growth.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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