In physics, the word “elasticity” refers to the ability of a substance to return to its original shape after being stretched or compressed. It has to do with recovery or what we call at Creative Ventures, THE BOUNCE. The only difference is, in our world, we expect your recovery to make you bigger, not return you to the same place.
There is a truth in the nature of decision-making, that in the context of that responsibility you will often err. It’s unavoidable and in fact, is increased as your career progresses. Why? The more responsibility you have the more your decisions will increase. Mistakes are inseparable from decisions. They are the peanut butter and jelly of business.
No one wants to make a bad decision. No one enters into decision thinking; “man I would love to mess this up”. No one wants to be Kodak opting to do nothing in the face of the digital camera revolution. No one wants to be Decca records and not sign the Beatles. But, make no mistake, you will make mistakes.
So with that piece of reality on the table, it becomes all about your BOUNCE. What does recovery look like? How can I leverage the mistake into something learned? Does it tell me how not to do it again? The one mistake is understandable but the SAME mistake is almost unforgivable. If you error twice under the same circumstances, you have no bounce and probably no job.
The Rules of the Bounce
- DID THE WORLD END? We tend to internally focus our mistakes to resemble the sinking of the Titanic. We blow it up like a Macys Thanksgiving Parade balloon. By understanding the mistake in a true context you can figure out the bounce.
- DEBRIEF – Make this like a military operation. What were the circumstances of the mistake? How did the choice get made? Do the conditions repeat? What alternate action could have been chosen? In other words, use the failure as a strategy and put on your critical thinking hat.
- MAP OUT THE “DO”. Recovery is about action. What do you have to do besides apologize? By the way, you only have to apologize ONCE. That apology needs to be followed by strategic action. Early in Creative Ventures days, a real hazard was to double book a date. That’s a disaster. We followed the path of how it happened and adjusted booking to a single point of internal contact. Presto – no more double bookings. We had a DO.
No One Get Out Unscathed
The BOUNCE is really about leveraging the opportunity found in making a mistake. NO leader from Joan of Arc to Winston Churchill ever made it unscathed.
Churchill made the fatal decision to attack Turkey at Gallipoli which resulted in over 500,000 casualties. He ignored advisors and military leaders and plunged headlong into a horrific decision. It nearly destroyed him. In his role as Prime Minister during the epic events of World War II, his lessons at Gallipoli gave him the BOUNCE to learn a more responsible and inclusive style, which by the way still rubbed him the wrong way. The BOUNCE is about learning not comfort!
Check out our Did You Know? video on Ernest Hemingway and the bounce.