What if there were one thing you could do in your work that guaranteed more and more success in the future? What if this one thing applied just as much to your entrepreneurial success?
Air Force teams do an “after action report” on completed endeavors, and the central item is the list of “Lessons Learned“, both good lessons from successes and bad lessons from failed efforts. You can imagine how important the lists are when they’re reviewed before the next major effort.
Listing, then drilling down through your Lessons Learned after each project, whether you work for a big firm or for yourself, is just as important to your success as it is to the Air Force! Your Lessons Learned are a gold mine holding bigger successes for you in the future. All you have to do is drill for them.
Without Emotion or Blame
At the big engineering firm where I worked, we learned how to list our Lessons Learned without emotion or blame.
After these years of practice, and now when the stakes of failure seem higher, am I still as willing to look dispassionately at my errors, gaps, and failures?
Don’t Re-run the Blame
Do I drill down through them “without emotion or blame”? Or, because I work solo, am I quick to go straight to blaming myself and make the failure worse because I’m missing out on the Lessons Learned?
Do I learn the lessons? Or only re-run the blame?
Which do you do?