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The Midweek Motivator – It’s Right To Be Wrong

How many times over your life has someone reminded you, “You’re wrong!”? The person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything. Failures and false starts can often be a precondition of success.

The late and certainly great Paul Arden, one of the UK’s master Ad-Men shared that the last company he worked for before starting Saatchi & Saatchi “wouldn’t fire us for being wrong, but we might be fired for not showing driving initiative.” Said Arden, “start being wrong and anything is possible because you’re no longer trying to be infallible.”

Think about it: how many times have you been on the edge of presenting a spontaneous idea, a concept or a plan, only to exhale then sit back while the moment passes. I’ve been in countless radio management meetings in the role of visiting programming catalyst, watching a room where ideas are expected, plan-making is critical…only to see some attendees holding back: on the edge of their seat for a few seconds, then reclining, signaling their surrender.

When you reverse this thinking, willing to table-up an idea that may run counter to conventional practices, you’re in the unknown. You have no idea what can happen but there’s a much higher chance of your concept being “amazing” as opposed to simply trying to be right.

Of course being willing to be wrong is a momentary risk; so many are afraid of expressing “stupid ideas” based only on a fear of what others might think. You’ve no doubt been in meetings where “new ideas” have been requested so you’ve stepped up to offer a highly original concept.
But instead of the room responding, “Hey, that’s the kind of concept that could lead to a major breakthrough” the room goes quiet while some roll their eyes staring at the ceiling, then return to the same dead-end discussion.

Risk-taking is the measure of a leader; people who are afraid to take them are trying to preserve what they have. People who DO take risks often end up having a lot more. Some risks have a future even through deemed “wrong” in the beginning. To those naysayers, it may be like walking backward, just to prove where they’ve been.

Being wrong isn’t part of the future, or a part of the past. “Being wrong” isn’t anywhere but being here; right now, and right where you can make a difference!

It’s the best place to be, don’t you think?