founder of naked leader

How ‘wrong’ can sometimes be oh so ‘right’

How ‘wrong’ can sometimes be oh so ‘right’

Time to read: 64 Seconds

Naked Leader Week 999 – 14 November 2022

What do penicillin, Velcro, nylon, the Post-it Note, dynamite, X-rays, Ivory Soap, and even Liquorice Allsorts have in common?

Like hundreds of other ‘things,’ they were all ‘invented’ by accident!

The Post-It Note. In 1968, a scientist at 3M, Dr. Spencer Silver, was attempting to develop a super-strong adhesive. Instead he accidentally created a “low-tack,” reusable, pressure-sensitive adhesive, which then took 5 years to persuade 3M of its power.

So, when something goes wrong for you, on a project, in your organisation or in your life, how can you make this into serendipity – a lemon into a lemonade?

By asking this question:

How does the fact that (state the issue) help me/us achieve the outcome I/we want to achieve?

Here’s an example from our experience:

When Naked Leader first began we invited some CEOs to a private dinner – our outcome was 8 from 40 invitations. We crafted the perfect invitation. After checking and rechecking, we sent it out, only to discover the following day that the stamp value on the letters was 1p short and everyone receiving it had to pay an excess to receive it!

How embarrassing!

We asked ourselves, how does the fact that the letters are 1p short help us fill our table for dinner?

Hang on a minute – how did we find this out? Because 8 – yes, 8 CEOs or their PAs had called us to tell us! Within 3 days it was 12, all of whom were upset, and then most of them gratefully(!) accepted our offer of seeing them in person to apologise.

And we seized the opportunity to call the other 28 to apologise.

The outcome? We had 2 dinners – 16 CEOs, and coffees with many others.

Of these, 6 went on to become Business Partners, and others remain good friends to this day.

Please, I am not suggesting that you deliberately make a mistake so that you can turn it into your advantage, as there will be many that you won’t be able to. However, before you write off a mistake, an error or a serious setback as a ‘failure’ I strongly suggest you ask that question, over and over:

How does the fact that (state the issue) help us achieve the outcome we want to achieve?

With my love and best wishes to you all



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