I’ve mentioned before that Mr. Bartender and I are fans of the television show Mythbusters. If you’ve never seen it, the show is hosted by two special effects experts who test myths, urban legends, and such. Some of my faves include what will cure the heat that occurs from eating spicy food and certain types of footwear can impair a person’s ability to drive. You can check out the Discovery Channel’s video clip and see if it was busted or confirmed.
So when Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman decided to do a “Behind the Myths Tour”, we had to go. A very interesting and fun part of the show was when Adam was sharing with the group his juggling skills. He explained that as a kid, he wanted to learn how to juggle. So he got the book “Juggling for the Complete Klutz” to help him. He would practice and practice. He discovered that when you learn one new skill, your other skills get better too.
But learning a new skill meant that he had to get comfortable with failure. In the case of juggling, it was the sound of balls dropping. Over time, he realized he wasn’t hearing failure when the balls dropped, but actually the sound of progress.
It reminded me of the presentation Adam gave during last year’s KronosWorks conference. I went through my notes from the session and there were three big takeaways:
- Don’t be afraid to get your fingers dirty.
- You conduct an experiment to learn.
- Failure is always an option because you can learn from it.
I do believe that, in business, we have to realize that we cannot make the same mistakes over and over. I don’t think that’s what Adam was talking about here. Experimenting is good. Trying new things is good. Try it then evaluate. Never in business have we embraced risk taking, trying new things, making mistakes and learning from failure more than today.
[Tweet “Learning a new skill makes your other skills better”]
As business professionals, we need to try new things. And we need to encourage our team to try new things. That’s how we learn. And trying that new thing, makes the rest of our skills stronger.
So, what new thing are you going to try today?
Image courtesy of Sharlyn Lauby0