I was skeptical. Thinking about the past and predicting the future, I was walking down the road of judgment and writing this person off.
That's when an executive stopped me in my tracks. She said, "You know, life lessons don't have to become life sentences."
It was like hitting me in the gut. As I remembered lessons that I have learned the hard way in my life, I realized the truth of her statement.
We all fall and, at times, fail. Maybe it's a poor decision made in a vulnerable or weak moment. Maybe it's a reaction based on our fear or greed. Maybe it's lashing out in anger. Maybe it's simply not slowing down to make a wise decision.
The truth is, we all have experienced failure in our lives. The most important decision is found in what we choose to learn from our mistakes.Some will allow their mistakes to define them. Others will continue to live in their mistakes and repeat them over and over. But we can choose to respond differently.
We can choose to learn from our mistakes. We can choose to allow our missteps to make us stronger and to make us wiser as leaders. In fact, history proves that great leaders were those who learned from their mistakes.
Sometimes we are quick to pass judgment on those who fall or make mistakes. My friend's wisdom caused me to pause and remember that learning a life lesson can be the conduit for growth and strength for a leader.
The next time I start down the judgement road, I will strive to remember her words of wisdom. When we choose to be slow to judge, we can make a difference!