My First Failure

Part 01 – My First Job

Part 02 – My First Easy Job

Part 03 – My First Promotion

Part 04 – My First Failure

Part 05 – My First Lesson

Part 06 – My First Lost Job

So I worked like this, in my full time role, for a couple of years but I was young, I wanted to have fun. So, my sense of responsibility was not so high. I started to skip work, I started to turn up late, and I started to be a bad employee. This meant I wasn’t setting a good example for the staff, so I was also being a bad manager.

I remember one very pivotal conversation that I had with the manager after I had turned up late to a morning shift for maybe the 15th time.

I immediately said sorry, my alarm didn’t go off or something along those lines. And my manager at the time said something that taught me a valuable management lesson which I have held onto for 20 years. It was

If you were really sorry, you wouldn’t keep doing it.

I’ll repeat that.

If you were really sorry, you wouldn’t keep doing it.

This statement is 100% true and I used it as recently as two weeks ago. You see, employees, workers, everyone is entitled to make mistakes. Everyone should be allowed to make mistakes. But, everyone should learn from them. And everyone should try really hard to make sure they don’t happen again.

This is a very valuable lesson that all managers or supervisors should know.

But, in the last 20 years, I have learnt something new which I also add to this. A couple of years ago, my manager at the time said something else to me. He said “You are allowed to take credit for your employee’s work. As long as you are also taking responsibility for their mistakes”.

And so, with thought, soul searching, and self teaching, I have come to this conclusion.

People make mistakes. People can say sorry for their mistakes. But you, as a manager, should try and help them to make sure it never happens again. This was my first lesson as a manager.