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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

The Value of Screw-Ups for Leaders: Teachable Moments


Woman in front of Flight Board

Let’s be clear here. I am not talking about those major errors that result in loss of life, property, or implode an organization (think Enron).


Rather, I believe that resilient leaders are a result of growing through and acknowledging personal errors in judgment and knowing how to assist others in finding the teachable moments through the mistakes.


Too often, organizations and individuals play the blame game. Finding a “fall guy or gal” never allows any forward momentum.


Consider Southwest Airlines and the massive disruption caused by literally a “perfect storm”. The disruption pointed to technology that was outdated, a manual process for re-ordering crew, and an inability to handle the tremendous influx of baggage.


In this article, you get a sense that Southwest Leaders are owning the failures and working hard to make things right for passengers and crew. There are HUGE teachable moments here that—if handled correctly—can bring Southwest back to its reputation as a customer-focused, caring airline.


I think we will all be watching.

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