The Freedom To Be Wrong

Every one of my clients tells me some version of the same thing… we need to be more innovative, creative, we need to change.

They’re right. That’s my job as a Keynote Artist.

But let me ask you, if most people get this, what holds them, and you, back?

Fear, of course. Fear of change. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Sum it all up and it’s the fear of being wrong.

The fear of being wrong quietly, insidiously paralyzes most people. It steals and delays our time, our dreams, and our lives.

So what’s the solution? 

Grant yourself the freedom to be wrong. 

You, your teams, and your entire organization must learn that being wrong isn’t wrong. Not learning and growing from being wrong is wrong.

I’m not advocating taking stupid risks. But trust me, we do not have an epidemic of people taking too many risks.

We have an epidemic of people scared to take a risk, people who are punished, or punish themselves for being wrong. 

When a child is learning to ride a bike how many times do you let her fall before you say, “Eh, just quite trying, it’s not worth it?”

Aha! There’s the magic formula! You let them keep being wrong until they get it right.

Now, would you laugh at your child for being wrong? Would you yell at or ostracize or even punish your child for being wrong? Hopefully not.

But that’s exactly what organizations are doing. Their cultural fear of being wrong is killing the very spirit of innovation they say they need. 

So what would that look like in your organization? What would that look like for you?

There was once a promising, young employee of a Fortune 100 company who made a mistake which cost the company over $1,000,000. He was distraught, knowing he would be fired. Preempting the coming consequence, when confronted by his boss the rookie began, “Sir, I know you’re going to fire me but…”

The boss cut him off; “Fire you? We just spent a million dollars educating you, we’re not going to fire you.”

Grant your kids, your spouse, your teams, your employees the freedom to be wrong and watch your results take off.

My daughter, Seneca Rayburn free climbing on our hike at Red Rock Canyon
My daughter, Seneca Rayburn free climbing on our hike at Red Rock Canyon

Please share this with your entire team or organization!

Live Truly, Truly Live,


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