Screw something up and, just to break even, you’ll need 5 times as many successes, each 5-times more value than your original mistake.
Why? Because that’s how it works. And while you don’t have to like it, you do have to know it’s how things work.
People are so like elephants – they never forget!
It’s been documented that people (including, likely, you) are hard-wired to remember, and talk about, what others do wrong:
- 87% of people may share their good customer service experiences with others, but 95% share their bad ones.
- 22% of people may share their good customer service experiences with more than 5 people, but 54% share their bad experiences with more than 5 people.
And can you think of a more important ‘customer service’ experience than leadership?!
So, yes, when we mess something up, people remember. Our ‘sins of the past’ – whether we define them as ‘sins’ or not – really do have a carryover effect.
What You Need To Remember
- That even though this ‘5-times’ math may seem fuzzy to you, it’s as clear as can be to others.
- That this ‘5-times’ math likely understates what you really need to do to get back in someone’s good graces, once you offend or disrespect or ignore them.
- That complaining about how unfair this math is effectively increases the multiplier you need to get back in someone’s good graces.
What You Need to Do
- Clean up whatever messes you’ve caused by accepting responsibility for your actions and doing something awesome – 5 things awesome, preferably – to make amends.
- Give your full attention to making whatever you do the best it possibly can be for those you work with and for.
- Take pride in knowing that you’re someone who is motivated enough to work powerfully and capably – and is willing to prove it and be held accountable for it…repeatedly.