We all make mistakes, sure – but how many of us are willing to share them publicly?
We are! Join retired Chairman of Microsoft Europe / Olympic mental coach Jan Mühlfeit and top-rated CEO / Executive Coach Lisa Christen as we share our best worst practices and advice for how to totally mess things up!
We’re sharing these stories to show you how valuable it is to take on risks — even when you fail miserably in the process!
THIS is how you really create growth mindset, psychological safety, and innovation culture.
For the full transcript:
Jan Muhlfeit 00:01
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends good evening.
Lisa Christen 00:04
Jan Muhlfeit 00:05
Good evening from Prague and from Dubai
Lisa Christen 00:09
From very late at night in Dubai
Jan Muhlfeit 00:12
Surely having a flight five hours from now. So it’s really very short, you know, night for her tonight. So if you can put in the comments, then you can ask the you know, me guys in Finland. It’s fine if somebody from LinkedIn can I can see it on my phone that we are live on LinkedIn. Perfect.
Lisa Christen 00:35
Perfect. Okidok, so
Jan Muhlfeit 00:38
this is it.
Lisa Christen 00:39
And Jan, and I think tonight is going to be a very special night. It is. I think we’re gonna have a lot of people who have maybe haven’t joined before or will watch this after because they want to know what did Lisa and Jan mess up in their lives? Time totally screw up get it so wrong, embarrassing. Horrifying, I want to know all the details.
Jan Muhlfeit 00:59
Yeah. Because guys, here’s the here’s the big goal for the of the session tonight. Okay? There is a movement, it’s in fact, global movement. It’s called FuckUp Nights, okay. And it’s like, mainly in the cities, but also in the companies and you are allowed to talk only about your own mistakes about your own fuck ups, right? Because we are learning mainly from our own mistakes. That’s the that’s the biggest learning. Because if you make mistake, your brain is generating network adrenaline. It’s like the peak of the adrenaline saying, this is really important for your life, you need to remember that, right? This is why we learn so much from our own mistakes. So we’ll talk about our fuck ups, and then obviously, you are welcome to join you know, when you’re
Lisa Christen 01:54
So you share with us, please. So we’re not alone in this.
Jan Muhlfeit 01:57
You may you may start kind of before you start with the list. Okay?
Lisa Christen 02:02
I do have all of it
Jan Muhlfeit 02:05
You may kick it though, because you talk also about growth mindset, psychological safety in the company, you know, or in the overall, you know, environmental organization, innovation culture. So you may want to take those points, I will add something and then we will talk about our own lists.
Lisa Christen 02:21
Good because then you you’ve got it head on. So first of all, one thing, if you’re human, you’re gonna mess things up. Absolutely. I don’t know why we don’t accept that as like a fact we all are trying to make everything perfect. Like I can control this, I won’t let bad things happen. No inevitable. But two, if you’re not messing up, if you don’t have a list of things that you fail that I can tell you right now, you’re not trying hard enough to break past that comfort zone, right? And what do we know is the number one regret of people who are dying, and they reach the end of their age, and they go, oh, and the thing that they regret the thing that they think the that I most fucked up about my life is that I didn’t try. I didn’t go all in, I didn’t live the life that was, you know, meaningful for me, I just did what I thought I was supposed to do, or what I thought would please other people, and I didn’t live my life. And that’s actually the number one if I can say fuck up all lives. So rather that we have small little hiccups along the way. But we learn we grow, we bounce forward, but we come we become more of ourselves, we test more of our potential, we get bigger into what’s possible that we can do. It’s well worth the small embarrassing moments. And here’s the thing. , Jan, I love what you said, which is our brain wants to protect us, our brain, our body. Everything about us is survival mode. We are animals we want to survive. So what do we do? We’re not going to be hunted in the jungle anymore. But the thing that makes us feel like we’re going to die in modern life is stupidity. We feel embarrassed, we feel oh my god, people are going to think I’m stupid people are going to vote what is my reputation going to be like, I’m not going to get the next promotion or have the next status. This is death for us in the modern world. And because this feels like death, we so try so hard, I can’t look stupid, I must look smart must look like the expert and must look perfect. And that is exactly what causes us the anxiety we hold in our bodies and causes us from actually being able to reach our full potential. So that’s the key message for me is like, are you going to mess up a ton? Yes. Is that normal? Yes. Should you be messing up a lot? Yes, with some caveats, but I will let Jan you know I want you to also add some stuff in here. Please don’t go out and try to do things like make mistakes all the time. Mistakes and fuck ups for me are two different things because a mistake is something you’re repeating over and over. You don’t seem to learn your lesson, right? No fuck ups are, you’re on your way forward, at least for me, you’re on your way forward, you have to grow. Sometimes we learn the easy way I read it in a textbook. Now I know what to do, I asked a mentor and told me what to do. Now I know what to do. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way, by trying it on our own. So don’t make mistakes over and over because we’re lazy, or we don’t know how to learn, but make a lot of fuck ups on your way to growing into all of your potential.
Jan Muhlfeit 05:27
And I totally agree, even though there is some caveats, right? Because if your brain is not trained, your brain is perfect device to survive, not necessarily to succeed, okay? Because your brain works like, hey, whatever is happening around you there is something which is called negative bias your amygdala, which is part of the brain, thanks to the late part of the brain, we survived basically. And then amygdala is five to 10 times faster than your logical part of the brain. Okay. And because it is evolution wise, it’s about survival. We are demonizing mistakes, because we are afraid to fail. Very fear of the failure, fear of the refusal, because if our predecessors were refused from the group, they die, because, you know, there was no food for them. Okay. And that’s kind of subconsciously, in our, in our mind, that’s why we are so afraid to make mistakes, then obviously, it’s also about you know, education. It’s about our parents, because sometimes we are like, I don’t want to disappoint you know, my parents, stuff like that, right. And we know perfectly that we even from neuroscience that we learn mostly from the new mistakes, yeah, we can go fuck ups, I call it you know, mistakes. You should not repeat simply some, you know, stupid things. And I remember my buddy Fred, who was also my great mentor is four years older than me. He was doing what I was doing in Europe, he was doing for emerging markets. Orlando Ayala, he was coming from Colombia, I was a great guy still, you know, he’s living in United States. He retired. He’s a fantastic guy. He always, he always told me said, Jan, if you if you want to be fired from the company, you’re gonna have to be fired, not for something small, nobody will even mentioned. You’re gonna be fired through something big. You really did. Okay. And that’s it. I’m not saying it said I do to be fired, you know, but that’s right. You should not be afraid. But as Lisa rightly said, it’s also about psychological safety. And, you know, values of the company and culture in the company. Peter Drucker was saying that, you know, coucher their eat strategy for the breakfast basically. Right? Or for the lunch? I don’t know, anyway, but but this is it, because you can have strategy, hey, we will be the most innovative company. And we will do great. If you are not encouraging innovative thinking curiosity, right? Forget it. Right? If the culture is different from the strategy, culture is bigger than than the strategy, right? That’s, that’s for sure. Interestingly enough, when we are really, you know, kids, we know exactly that we are learning minus state, like, if we learn to walk, you know, imagine if you, if you would like fail once and say, Hey, I just crawl that’s enough for me. I, I know, when my parents you know, to, to fail again, right? No, you that child is trying again and again and again. And then the child is starting to walk, okay. But then unfortunately, what is happening, you know, we are putting kids in the in the boxes, this is the only right answer, okay, this is the only right answer, right? This is from that box, this is the only right answer. And and, you know, teachers and the school is teaching you how to answer questions, not necessarily how to ask the right question. And every question is a bit, you know, out of the comfort zone, if it’s a new thing, you may try nobody, nobody will, you know, kill you. And I’ll mention, you know, what, what I think was a great culture in Microsoft, which, which, again, I think the founder, you know, Bill Gates with Paul Allen, you know, they basically created a culture that you know, to do new mistakes, it’s fine. Bill Gates was saying two important things relative to the mistakes and fuck ups number one, success is a very lousy teacher, you learn mainly from the failures and mistakes, this is it. That’s number one, and on the safety net on psychological safety, he was saying if you don’t know whether you should do it or not, just do it. You can always ask for Ask for forgiveness. And this is it. If you know that you know you will not be fired. You can If you will just explain it fine. And after, like each and every bigger project, we used to have paused more than session paused more than feedback like, Hey, this is what was going well, this was really bad, we need to improve. And this is maybe something new, we may introduce in the future. And that’s, that’s a very different, you know, thinking from, you know, other companies, right? Because everybody’s talking about innovation. But unfortunately, we are stuck. Because we are demonizing the mistakes, we are basically penalized penalizing penalizing people if they are, you know, making they all mistakes, right? A distance it and laser said one very smart thing. You will not fuck up in your comfort zone. Forget it. You know, if you want to learn something new, you know, new mistakes, it’s out of your comfort zone. Because if you do something you did always, it’s there is a high, you know, chance you’re doing well. And that’s fine. That’s fine. By we should if we want to grow as individuals and other companies, we need to attack comfort zone. You know, this is it. I look, even in the sport. I do a lot of things with athletes now. Yeah. And if you watch like 40 years ago, when they play, they were playing Final of the soccer word, soccer championship, right? Even if you take a speed of those players, it’s like, it’s like 1.5 faster now. Just saying with ice hockey or whatever, right? It’s getting really faster, which means that, you know, we really move on, and it’s the same in the business. So this is it. This is it now, so Lady first, let’s start with our list of the fuck up. Okay,
Lisa Christen 11:41
I have. Okay, so first of all, before I go through my list, I’m gonna encourage everybody to do the same exercise that Yan and I just did. Everybody goes ahead, they write a CV, you go on LinkedIn, you write all of your accomplishments, you’re the greatest things I’ve ever done. Go ahead and write yourself an opposite CV, a failure CV, and write up all the things that you failed that and really take a look at the list, you can be proud. If you have nothing on this list, you’re either lying to yourself, or you’re not really trying hard enough. This can also be a good noticing, right? So every one of you have a homework assignment, go through your failures, check it out, it’s actually freeing. Because some of this stuff we hold inside of us emotionally at the time, something was so embarrassing, we hold it, we fear it, and we never want to think about it. Again, it’s terrible. And you put it on a piece of paper and you look at it in the light of day, 10 years later, and you’re like, it’s actually not that big a deal, right? If you can do that, if you can get rid of your mind predicting, this is going to embarrass you this is going to be bad, this is going to you know, this is something that’s going to make you feel like you’re a failure. If your mind can stop that prediction machine, it won’t actually feel that scary to take risks. That’s the whole point of what we’re trying to do. And all the ways that we can start to learn to take more risks, is just turn down the volume on the voice that says this is a risk. Jan pointed it out so nicely when the culture is there, when the call when your boss is saying, take a risk, ask for forgiveness later go big or go home, right? If the culture is there, that makes it easy because your brain says not a risk, not a risk. Now what happens when you work in banking and consulting, and everything is like risk, risk risk, very hard for you to say I have no problem. I’ll just make mistakes all the time. So get comfortable, have this Cv of your failures and start to normalize it, I want to say this, and then I promise you and I’ll share my major fuck ups. I’m embarrassed, but I’m going to share it with everyone anyway, so that they can be embarrassed with me. And they can feel less ashamed sharing their stories. But that’s really at the heart of what I want to say, which is I didn’t realize that it was like okay to make mistakes. I know people said it, but then everybody else acted in a different way. So it was one of those do as I say not as I do. And I remember this moment. So clearly, my husband and I spent the weekend in Paris, but then another couple, and we get on our train to go back to Zurich. And we’re like, this is weird. Someone’s sitting in our seats. So excuse me, you’re in our seats, and they’re like, No, these are our seats and we’re like, but these are seats weird. We got to find the conductor and turns out my husband had bought the tickets for a different day. So he’s like um, I don’t know where like oh my god it’s sold out. We can’t get back there’s no other train for like three more days or whatever kids in Zurich. So I’m like listen, it’s no problem super easy. We’ll we will buy extra tickets. There are no more seats. So we’ll sit in the dining cart, whatever. And my husband was like, you can never tell anyone this story ever. Which by the way, I did not ask his permission to share that today. But this was the point and I said, Oh my god, everybody makes these mistakes. It’s not just me. I’m not the only one who does the small things. She goes, No, my parents one time they were driving to the airport, they just put it into the GPS, they literally drove to the wrong airport, they were just following the GPS, they were on holiday somewhere, they drove to the wrong airport returned, the car went in, checked in. nobody was saying anything to them. They were like, oh, at some point, they figured out where we need to be at the airport. That’s an hour in this structure. And I said to myself, that this happens to people like on a regular basis and everyday life, this happens. And for me, knowing that people make mistakes all the time. Even if it’s just personal life, we’re not yet talking about business and personal life, I just felt freer to be like, Oh, okay, then I can also, you know, be human. And that’s what I’m hoping that everyone who’s watching here today or in the replay later, that you feel this sense of like, listen, everybody makes mistakes. It’s not that big a deal. But that was my aha moment. So I hope you have an aha moment tonight. Which one? Let’s do like big punk one. fuckup you fuck up? Me? Okay. Absolutely. I’ll be like, more dynamic. And then we will you know, ask our friends, whoever is on the on the on the call, you know if they can share something in the comments. Okay. So, I go and we go like that. Okay, okay. Okay, I’m going through my list. Let me start early on. I tried to drop out of university. Because I was brokenhearted over a boyfriend. Talk about the worst reason to try to drop at a university. I had a moment where I was so heartbroken. I called my parents on like a Wednesday, I said, I need to get on a flight. I need to fly home. I can’t finish I was in my last semester. But give credit to my parents. They were like, Okay, come home, both sort this out, whatever, you know, they didn’t say No, you stay there. And they said, come talk to us. And I said, I’m dropping out. I emailed every professor, I said, I need I don’t know, I need you to just I need to do the work from home. I just I need to quit, I need to run away. I need to drop out. And one of my professors said, you can’t finish it at home. Everybody else had no problem. personal circumstances. You go ahead, one professor said, You got to come back or I’ll give you an incomplete you come back next semester. And I said, I’m not not graduating for this. So I had a decision to make. Do I drop out? Do I just suck it up and continue. And it was the first time in my life that I said, I’m gonna suck it up and continue. Because I’m not going to make this a snowball fuckup. So I actually ended up going back. But to this day, I would say I was this, this close to not getting my degree and dropping out of university for a boyfriend. One and a long list of many boyfriends by the way. This is to kind of fuck up.
Jan Muhlfeit 18:24
Is it the one hand enoughor?
Lisa Christen 18:35
My even my dad said to me, at some point, I think we found your life calling or we think you should be a flirting coach. Sure, because I’ll talk to anyone about anything. I have many boyfriends. But I want to say for me, that doesn’t sound like a major fuckup because I didn’t really ruin anything. But I want to show that it’s so easy to be ready to blow up everything and to get to a point where you can still say hold on and turn things around. And I didn’t think I had the strength. But I said, What’s the worst that happens? I go back I try. And if I can’t, I would still have to repeat the next semester anyway. So I just sort of stepped into if I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail on my terms. And I’m going to go kicking, screaming crying on my way out. And of course I passed and everything worked and blah, blah, blah happy story. But the point is that I was ready to blow it all up. And I said if I’m going to fail, fail on my terms. And then it all worked out. So that’s a smooth entryway in. Jan, and how about you?
Jan Muhlfeit 19:46
I will start with some executive fuckup okay. It was I believe 2004 And I I got a review with my region. You know, we went very well, we’ve got a great numbers and everything was fine. And then we were like running. We were reviewing some subsidiaries till like two o’clock in the morning and we started again at seven. Okay. And I was presenting what Microsoft should do and in emerging markets like break Brazil, Russia, India, China, that was like our presentation with some, you know, team, okay. And opposite to us. There was like, executive team, you know, from Microsoft, okay. And I was like, Okay, it’s me in the morning, we should have, you know, fun, we should be, you know, not there, whatever. Okay, right. And this is what I did. This is what I did. I talked to them and I said, Look, guys, you know what Tashi delay means? Nobody got a clue. What is it? I said, this is how share paths in Himalayas are greeting each other. And that means I celebrate greatness in you. Okay. So, whenever you will give us some good feedback we can learn from, I’ll give you the sheer delay, we will celebrate your greatness. Okay. So then I like, like, David, like the executive team was smiling. But but then I over did it basically, it was like all actually doing whatever. And I honestly, I did not read emotions in the room. They were pissed off big time. Okay, big time. I mean, the presentation went okay, it was not the best presentation of mine, I must say it was okay. Then like after two days, I’m going to call and if my boss was like, John Philip Gupta was usually like writing SMS, whatever, when he was calling, like to meet there, it was something and he said, Look, I need to talk to you. Let’s schedule one hour together. Because I need to give you corrective feedback. Because you like fuck up big time. You pissed off like, oh, you know, Microsoft executive team, by your behavior. Okay, then he talked to me said look, you are VP and you should not behave like 17 years old, you know, polygon. That’s what you did, basically. Right. So I basically said, I appreciate that and, and the guy who was like running executive team at that time was the Jeff Raghu after and became my, you know, mentor, right. And Jeff was later on when he left Microsoft. He was for six years running Bill Gates Foundation. So it was very close to Bill. Okay. And Jeff Raikes was visiting Hungary like week after that presentation, I talked to John Felipa said, Look, I believe what I will do, I will fly to Hungary, because it’s my region anyway. And I will talk on one on one with Jeff and apologize and put our you know, emotional account on the same level as before. So So Jeff was in the good, you know, mood, I said, Jeff, sorry, I behaved really terrible, you know, guy, whatever, you know, what I, it was really bad. I apologize for it. He hugged me. And he said, Yeah, this is absolutely fine. And when I was leaving the room, I said, By the way Jack that shit delay. And he was fu** you, it was like, since that time, we were like that, you know, like really, he put his name on my book, you know, on some references, whatever. But the learning from there was that I don’t think I was, you know, Oregon somehow, but I didn’t read the room very well, because people are tired number one, and number two, it was like once it it may be taken as a joke, but what I was having, but I was alone in the room. So, that was that was you know, easily in the other company, you can be fired for such behavior. Right? Easily, right? I mean, they take it they say, Okay, fine, and or whatever, right. But we’ve got good results and so on. But it was not I learned a lot.
Lisa Christen 24:01
Yes, I think this is such, you know, the reason I started with my story, and now I hear your story. Yeah. And I think the whole point of what we’re so afraid of, is being embarrassed in front of other people. You know, sometimes it’s that we mess up and we do a product launch and it goes fail. It’s a big failure, which I will share that as my next one, actually. So it’s not such a personal thing. It can also be content wise, it can also be monetary wise, right? There’s many different things. But I would say the thing that people are most scared of is actually this fear of embarrassing yourself in front of other people. So a few years back, actually, right before the pandemic, I decided, I’m a coach, I only have so much time in the day, I really want to jump on this AI thing. And I really want to build an app that can do coaching, right? And the markets they are there, you know, it’s a huge growing market. Billions are ready. I’m gonna make an app. So I first ran this idea by a few people they said just sounds great, you know? So I apply I said, put it together a business plan and I apply for an incubator, denied. Okay. Okay, but got some good feedback, great growth mindset. Let me learn, made an MVP of what this app could be like made it super simple. So here’s what I did. I changed my whatsapp. I changed the picture, I changed my name on WhatsApp, and I had a few people test the service, but the service was really me. So I could see what questions they would have what time of day when they were asking, what did they need. And I realized I had this amazing product because it could do it all right, if you needed. Again, it would be like a coach in your pocket if you needed help with communications, giving difficult feedback, if you were feeling confused, if you wanted a pep talk, whatever, everything. So with this MVP, and these are people who loved the idea, we’re ready to start. They never messaged me. So at some point, I checked in Hey, what’s going on? I, I don’t know when to talk to you. I don’t know when the same. And I hadn’t even realized, like, people have no idea what to do with a coach, people have no idea when to use a coach, people aren’t in the habit of doing all this stuff. That’s why I didn’t get accepted into the accelerator. And that’s why this product will fail. It will add if I launch if I have I failed set pen 100,000. I’m building an AI, prototype. Fail, big fail. But again, I didn’t MVP that cost me nothing. Thank you for that out. And I said, Okay, talk to the AI programmers, all this stuff, got it to the point. And then I said, You know what, I don’t want to spend the next five years on this, you have to really commit if you’re gonna say, You know what? I’m good. But that knowing that most entrepreneurs, we coach entrepreneurs, most entrepreneurs don’t go the really simple route that I did, they’ll invest 100,000, and build an MVP with a prototype with AI in the background. And then they’ll realize, Oh, my God, I don’t have a fucking clue what I’m doing. So what I would say there is always when MIT when people say minimum viable product, minimum, minimum, minimum, minimum viable product start be ready to pivot. Because I had I had my product so wrong, I would have done it completely differently. Had I continued. I leave that there. I don’t want to beat a dead horse. Yeah.
Jan Muhlfeit 27:28
Yeah, it’s interesting comment from our friend from Ariel Bowser, a mistake is often just a lack of information. Absolutely agree. But the nice thing is that after a mistake, you often have missing information, this is a this is nice of the learning, because you will figure out what was missing, you know, right. And you will get after that. That information. Absolutely true. So I will do another one, which was not like, you know, one, but there were a couple of fuck ups like that. Okay. When I was like, sorry, 31, 32, maybe up to the 33 years old. Here is how my brain work. I thought because I got like, technical education and software engineer by profession, no psychology, whatever, everything, but I did I learned afterwards or at some, you know, courses and so on. Right. So I thought that everybody thinks in the same way that people think in the same way anyway, this is it. And now this is obvious, absolutely wrong. Because we are not unless we were like duplicate people, like the sheep’s you know, right. We’ve got different genes, you know, we use within the different genes, which means that we have like different talents, we are using those times differently, and we see the world differently, okay. You’re kind of the perception of what’s going on. It’s about what’s going on with you what’s going on with the other side, what’s going on in the world. Right. And everybody got a different, you know, view little bit, right. And the thing is, I think I’m fast sinker. I’m not saying that I think always in the right way. No, not at all, you know, right. I don’t think fast. And I, I gave my team like, hey, boom, boom, boom, this is it. And I said, this is it, you know, right, let’s, let’s start okay, because I’m like activated. And because very often your team is afraid to ask you question because that they will feel Hey, I would feel you know, bad or stupid. I would look like stupid guy or sandwich or whatever. So I thought, hey, it’s fine and they will do it. And nothing happened and it was couple of you know, projects. Okay. And while if you if you do like Tour de France and you are ahead of the peloton, it’s great, you know, because you will win. If you are like a leader ahead of your group. You have no followers, you are not leader, you know what I mean? Right. So once once and I got some feedback because some people said, Jan, you know, it’s very Have a heart for you know, you like to follow you, right? You need to slow down a little bit with us whatever we are not headed long, whatever. And what I started to do, I said Hey guys, this is a this is what I would what I would like you to do, if you can like, tell me rephrase how you understood it because communication and how you learn communication is not what you are saying, you know? How is it perceived, you know what that people will hear, right? Because you may think, hey, everything is clear. Okay? Give you another so that that was basically huge, you know, wake up, but I really thought for a couple of years it works for you. I used to have no domain HR, but I was like HR, you know, assistant, and she was responsible for the slides preparation for Steve Ballmer and Steve Ballmer is like mathematician, right? He’s like, he owns now clippers, the one of the basketball teams, you know, he left Microsoft was a CEO. And he was like, for each and every he would, you know, figure it out even small discrepancies in your numbers, he would immediately spot in and figure it out. Okay. And Francesca was name of that, you know, lady, she was very nice person. But she was you know, Italian and she was not necessary on the on demand, you know, doing very well with demands. So, Francesca, make sure you check all of those slides and everything right. Then I was presenting to bomb and he said like, Jan, that you have like four there for people, but it should be five. You know, you very rarely do such you know, mistake on those. He was fine. He was like smiling. Okay, I game I flew back and I came to Francesca I said Francesca you know, we were it was clear that they should be you know, dead number, not number you put there. And Francesca said, Jan, four or five. It’s not big difference. And I learned Hey, this is cultural thing, you know, because for Germans it’s a huge German blob, you know, right. Italians? 4 or 5 No big difference. I have to say, though, Jan, So so everybody now knows I’ve been in Dubai, five weeks and coming from Switzerland. It’s everything is precise. Exactly. And here, it’s exactly that it’s much more flowy. and relaxed. And time is, you know, slower. And I have to say I kind of like it.
Lisa Christen 32:33
Because you can breathe a little bit. Four or five. It’s kind of true. It’s like four or five.
Jan Muhlfeit 32:42
Peter is writing up to butcher a very, very interesting. It’s it’s aren’t about how hard you are hitting or hit. It’s about how hard you can get get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take, keep moving forward. That’s how winning is an absolutely true. It’s called great, by the way, great. It’s not about hey, you fail, you stand up, but you go through that hell or through that, you know, challenge absolutely true. You know, yeah.
Lisa Christen 33:12
And this is the thing is, this is exactly what growth mindset is. So I was coaching someone recently and he said, Yeah, I had an idea. And I pitched to an investor and the investor said he’s already over leveraged in this area. So he doesn’t want to work with us. And so the guy said, yeah, now I’m out of people to pitch to and I was like, hold on, hold on. What like what did you just learn? He’s like, I don’t know that he didn’t want to invest. So I’m like, No, you learned people who are already in your industry aren’t going to want to invest in you means you have to go look for people outside your industry. And he was like, oh, oh, I didn’t see that. Right? Because if we’re stuck in our in our rejections as that’s personal, that’s me or my idea is being rejected. It keeps you stuck. If you say, oh, what can I learn from that? We’re gonna do oh, what’s the next step? Oh, I got that missing piece of information as it works. Oh, Peter. Yeah, I got knocked down. But that just got me one step forward and closer to what I really want. Perfect. That’s what this is all about. That’s why I don’t even like the words mistakes and failure seems really stupid to me to be focused on that part of it. When we could be focused on Ah, now I know better. What’s the right way to do it? Or the best way to do it or the way forward?
Jan Muhlfeit 34:31
Robert is saying in my opinion, a mistake is a good thing if you want repeat them over and over true. Absolutely. Because it’s pushing you to sit and overthink what you can do next time better. So on any any mistakes make you better, don’t you think? Yeah, absolutely up every mistake, you know what is happening actually, if you do, like postmortem, if you do, like, Hey, you should after each and every, you know, action, whatever you do, you should say Hey, what should I do? continue to do what should I stop? What should I start? Okay? This is the way how you can structure your synopsis. It’s called neuroplacity. Your neuroplasticity is really like it is what we know from the neuroscience, that neuroplasticity, new synapses are created mostly when we are making some new mistakes, some new, you know, stuff, right? This is this is absolutely, this is absolutely true.
Lisa Christen 35:26
Jan, I want to add something here, because it’s super interesting, Robert, there are some things I am very good at. And there’s a lot of things that I’m really not good at, I wouldn’t be more Franchesca style where I’d be like four or five. I don’t know, I didn’t even notice the details. I don’t know, okay. I’m a very big picture thinker. I am not the detailed person, right. And so what I realized when I make a mistake, and when I make a mistake over and over on details, it actually I say to myself, not one mistake as a problem to mistakes is a problem. Oh, I’m so stupid. I keep getting wrong. No, what I said is, aha, this is a pattern. I’m not the person to handle the details. And so I just used that, again, as a learning. And that’s when I would say Okay, so when I was early career, I was like, okay, so I have to have a process where I double check everything. If it’s really important, if it’s something going to the CEO of the company, I would have a buddy, who would double check these numbers for me, you know, when I’m editing copy, if I was looking for spelling back in the day, read it backwards, because when you’re reading the sentences, it was easy to see over spelling’s read the words backwards. So there are different ways of coping with it. Now I just said, okay, then I definitely need an assistant, right? Because I’m not going to be good at the details. So it’s not that I have to fix my mistakes. It’s not that I have to learn how to overcome my own mistakes. Sometimes I have to learn that’s going to be a mistake, I’m going to repeat and I have to find an alternative way to solve for it.
Jan Muhlfeit 37:04
I agree. Because I make majority of my like big mistakes. were, you know, coming from the fact that I’m like activator. So I want to start immediately, okay, without any like huge thinking, boom, let’s go. So I like you, you’ve got your assistant, I used to have, you know, somebody always with me, who would say, hey, let’s wait, let’s you know, look at the different, you know, scenarios, different things before we really, you know, start some, like activator. So I got somebody who was more like deliberative guy, like, you know, think twice before you cut basically, right? This is it. Right? And I, I absolutely agree with you that this is it. We we talked about it in the past that you don’t need to know, you know, everything because you have some special talents. So let’s use your talents. And you can cover your weaknesses, you know, by somebody else, who’s whose talent are your weaknesses and the other way around, right? This is about complementary.
Lisa Christen 38:11
This is the big thing. And you and I talk so much about building on our strengths. But all of schooling taught us to focus on your weaknesses and make them better, right, you got to you got this wrong. Now you spent extra time on what was wrong. And we take that into adulthood. So we say, Okay, you’re not good at looking at the numbers. So you have to take extra classes on numbers, and you have to do this and you have to, yeah, or you could just focus on your strengths and find someone else to counter that. So, again, use mistakes as information, not necessarily that you need to change your behavior, just maybe you need to find an alternative solution.
Jan Muhlfeit 38:50
If it’s like if it’s a repetitive mistake. Absolutely. No, it is very true what you said because there are a lot of companies they have like, Hey, this is 40 You know, four or 38 You know, 34 competencies you need to have like, if you work in our company, those are all competencies you have, right? I have nothing against competency toolkits, okay. But the issue is that majority of those companies would say Okay, and let’s try every year let’s try to improve those three, four weaknesses of yours next year. We will you know, and then it means that everybody is working on the weaknesses. Nobody works on the strengths. Okay? And that’s why there is only 16% According to Gallup engagement survey, which they do every three years there is only 16% of the people who are like actively engaged who are people they really enjoy what they do, they are self actualized if you take my self parameter self actualize, and it’s it’s too late because everybody concentrates on the on the mistakes imagining that they will start to say okay, Let’s concentrate on your strengths. And if you have some weaknesses, we will put you together with somebody who’s you know, talents or strengths can cover your weaknesses and the other way around. There’s a there’s a complementarity in the team, right? And typical thing is like, hey, if there’s a strategy guy with kind of a helicopter view, let’s make sure there is somebody in his team or air team with more analytical, you know, view can, you know, it’s it is very advantageous to compare those, you know, views, right?
Lisa Christen 40:29
Yes. So, Jan, I have so many other failures, I’d love to share and I want to I want to invite everyone else started going faster, faster, but I also want to invite everyone if you want to share something you’ve done, please put it in. We’d love to.
Jan Muhlfeit 40:44
Peter Peter boudet, a speech from Rocky Balboa on the YouTube guys if you it is it is a really good one. We use it in Microsoft. Yeah,
Lisa Christen 40:55
I’ve been up the Rocky Steps in Philly. Okay, so I’m early career. I remember a time my boss was
Jan Muhlfeit 41:05
Is it gain with a boyfriends. No.
Lisa Christen 41:09
Listen, that’s a whole nother session. But happily married 10 years totally married 10 years.. That’s like an over drinks conversation. So I was at my boss left, and I was like, Oh, perfect. I’ve been in the role. I’m young. I’ve been in the role for like a year underneath her. But I’m ready. I’m clearly going to be promoted. Right? But I never actually say to my, you know, boss’s boss, I would like to be considered for the promotion. I never asked what competencies or skills would I need to get the role? I just said, Hey, I know the role. So well, I’m already performing well. And while my boss left, I did the job of her job. So like, clearly, I can do it, right. Surprise, surprise. They’re like, so here’s your new boss. And it’s not you. And by the way, there’s no room for you be promoted at all, because you have a new boss. And by the way, could you train your new boss? And so I said, what, what happened? Right? And and then when I’m already emotionally frustrated, and angry, upset, hurt, then I’m like, Okay, why couldn’t I have gotten the promotion? And they said, Oh, you don’t have enough experience. But the person coming in has no experience. And I’m training her on the job. So how does that work. And at that point, I was not emotionally mature enough. I didn’t have the conversation. On the back end, I didn’t know how to describe how I felt on the front end. So of course, I overreacted. And I was just like, well, then screw all you I’m gonna go get a new job. So I applied internally got a new job. And I was like, by good luck. You know, I don’t know who’s going to train this new woman. But it is me, by the way, ending relationships in spite, never a good idea. And I took this new role, and they had to fight for me. I mean, they really again, they were like, yeah, she doesn’t have enough experience. All this stuff. They really went to bat big deal. They pulled me in, they were like, We believe in you. And I was really, really average in that job. I was I wasn’t the worst. I wasn’t terrible. Not Excellent. Right. I was usually a very high performer, they went to that exactly, because they said she can learn this, she’s gonna be a high performer, we’ve got this. And I guess I was so mad still about that old situation and still couldn’t quite solve in the company and everything. And I was like, damn, I kind of suck at this role. And no matter how much I would try to be better, and try to be better, I just
was not enough energy.
Lisa Christen 43:54
I wasn’t right and then that made me even worse, obviously. Because you’re worrying about the worrying about worrying about the worrying. And you know, people are talking about you not being that good, worrying. So I moved to Switzerland. It was a good reason to leave the job. But it was literally the only job I’ve ever had, where even if I wanted to be good, and I worked hard to be good. I just was never going to be that good in that role. That’s a hard feeling to have. But, you know, the Peter Principle, you get promoted to the place where you then suck. And I wasn’t that far up. I was like a manager. I mean, like, you know, it wasn’t like, Oh, I’m a VP. And so that makes sense. I was at a manager level and I was like, I suck. I’m really bad at this marketing job. Not bad, but I’m not at my best. And I used that because every failure is a learning. I use that to say I’m in the wrong career path, because this is the best time gonna be, I’m gonna be average, I gotta go find something where I’m going to be back at the top of my game where I’m not going to be average. And that shift obviously led me to coaching where I love it and I’m excited every day and this but I could have very easily been stuck as a mediocre marketing person. Had I not had I let that take away my confidence instead of building my confidence. I’ll just go find the thing where I can be good. Jan, tell us more.
Jan Muhlfeit 45:29
It is there is another one now from like my after, you probably have heard about, you know, my fuckup by, the depression which is mentioned here a couple of times, so not mentioned, it was my personal pocket, but I ever mentioned another one. And that’s from my sport coaching from my mental toughness or, you know, mental readiness coaching, if you will. When I started to coach Patrick Sheik now like last month, he was elected best, you know, player in Bundesliga is one of the best European, you know, football players, okay, we work together like three and a half years. And when we started to work together, I asked him, hey, had they ever eliminate you from the because of the sun fall or whatever they did they eliminate you during your career from from the match? And he said no, since since like, my, you know, Junior era, nothing happened. And it was fine. The guy is fine, you know, right. But I did not realize one thing, once you are getting really top, top top, everybody’s after you, in football in basketball every year, they provoking you and so on. And that’s exactly what happened. There was a match against wells, the guy was like, provoking him, but the judge referee didn’t see it, you know, the what, what the guy from university was doing, they saw, you know, shake, and he was like, for two matches he was not able to play, right. So huge learning for me. And I put like provocation, when we talk with whatever it is like team sport. I for the first or second lesson, we talk about provocation, what will happen if you are provoked how you need to work with your amygdala, what? And so it was a fuckup. Right? I did it kind of the you know, more public because I went to the to TV channels. And I said that was my mistake. And I basically explained why did it happen? And what I learned from that, funnily enough, there were a couple of fans, you know, saying, Hey, you are a real gentleman, because everybody else would go like, hey, you know, he should not do a whatever. And you took it on your shoulders. And I think it’s right to if there some mistakes, you need to admit it, learn and move on, you know what I learned and move on. And as the same, now I do it, they’d like I have a basketball. I am handball, I have ice hockey, I have football, soccer. So for everybody like, Hey, you should if you are provoked, you should where you breathe in, and you basically react logically not emotionally. This is it. So that’s a that’s a that’s a fuckup like a recent one, you know, right?
Lisa Christen 48:12
But oh, that Edward has shared something here, are we able to share this? Are we able to share it on the screen? You’re always so good at that. I don’t know, if I have access
Jan Muhlfeit 48:23
I shared it, you read it.
Lisa Christen 48:26
We have some AI experts in our administration and they say computer systems are excellent in terms of analyzing huge amounts of data in a very short amount of time. But they have to teach the systems that even if there’s a lot of data president might not be enough data. So they have to learn AI systems making errors and recognizing errors to be more reliable. So they have to teach the system. Yeah,
Jan Muhlfeit 48:50
you see, and that’s the same thing that the even like, you know, those machines, artificial intelligence is learning by by mistakes, because if you take like innovators, if you take Edison, you know, there is a there is a war that you know, Edison did like 10,000 attempts before he really figured out how the bow you know, can can work right? Absolutely. So, this is it, this is this is really the thing which we need to change and there are definitely I see like, you know, software industry and the overall you know it, they are more open for the mistakes because the thing is, there is so much you mentioned, you know, venture capital and investment funds and so on. There’s so much money guys going to those, you know, companies, they don’t know how to work, they know really well how to work with technology, they don’t know how to work with the people and they do so many mistakes, you know, and it’s a very costly it’s a very costly imagine that only one of the 10 You know, the startups will make it basically right I that’s the that’s the that’s the average right one of the 10. But if it’s very successful, and then it goes to IPO, then it’s really you know, but it’s still good business, but you need to have a good feeling, you know, good smell a if it is good, or not, you know, right.
Lisa Christen 50:18
But that’s the thing. I mean, we could have a whole nother night on VCs, but we look for the team. And we look for people who are curious and open, ready to take feedback, learn, pivot, grow fast, fast, fast, fast, fast, not people who are defensive, not people who need to be the expert only who can’t take it. So I do want to keep continuing, because I love hearing your stories, I’m getting to know all these different.
Jan Muhlfeit 50:40
I’m now doing like a, you know, kind of after every lesson is like four hours for Charles University, which is like in the Central Europe, the oldest university it was, you know, basically founded in 1300 48. So it’s a very old university, a very, you know, famous one. And, and today we talk about, like, when I was there was a question when I was doing interviews, interviewing people, what kind of strategies I was using, there was a one bucket of the questions, and around fuck ups, what kind of the mistakes you did, what kind of tough situations you overcame, what did you do? What did you learn and so on. And if somebody was telling me, I didn’t do any fuck up, you know, that’s hard to go to Microsoft books. You know right
Lisa Christen 51:36
I love this story on because this is my next fuckup about hiring people. Okay. so yeah, maybe I can share that with
Jan Muhlfeit 51:46
everybody. I did also some mistakes. Yeah,
Lisa Christen 51:48
but I’m still doing it. I haven’t quite learned my lesson yet. So here’s the thing. As I have my own company, I get to hire everybody, right? And I’ve done many interviews and to hire people I’ve had freelancers come in who are coming to do coaching or training or facilitation. I’ve had admins marketing folks etcera. An d my poor husband, I come home every day and I’m like, how did they get this wrong? How did this How is this not anything what I want for a copywriters? Freelancers on this and that, and it’s like, it’s never good. And I say, I don’t understand. I get personal recommendations. I look at their content. They’re talented. But then I hire them. And they’re no longer talented. Yeah, yeah. Is it them? And over time, I was like, well, this person and this person, I think the common denominator is me. And this is what I’ve realized, again, my patterns, I think, too fast. I don’t think through all the details, I can’t give step by step exact directions. I want to give a vague sense of something and then let them run with it, right? This is hard for people to do. They interpret it one way or they interpret it another way, or I think too fast. Or I’m like, Yeah, you figure out okay, you make the decisions. I don’t know, is it that sounds good? I don’t know, check this thing out over here. Right. And, and so I started to realize, obviously, it’s me, that’s messing up the hirings. It can’t be that seven people I’ve hired, it’s not working, right? Sure. But I’m in the middle of this fuckup because I still don’t know because of my personality and my tendencies, how to find the right people who can find my hat thoughts through nuggets of you know, some idea in the air and bring it to life. So if I don’t remember any tips, by the way, I’m open.
Jan Muhlfeit 53:47
There is a tape definitely, you know, we we call it in check that people sometimes they have a pink glasses like they see the world. Everything is absolutely Nice. All people are nice. All people are great beings, we call it being glasses like, I am the guy with the pink glasses. So we have another guy, it’s called a Thomas, who does not believe okay, I don’t maybe I in English, there’s also something like that. So you need to have somebody else with more like logical, you know, an analytical view. And that person should definitely interview them as well. That’s what I started to do. I did also couple of fuck ups with wrong hiring, because of the halo effect. I also hate that’s a great person, you know, and I started I stopped to interview the person. And I started to think, Hey, this is what he or she should do, and strategize immediately because I’m activate you know what I mean, right? I’m not gonna read that. Then I said, stop. You know this. This is not gonna work. I interviewed a person. I will not give anybody my feedback. So everybody else it was sometimes you like like, John very cool. was my boss was another guy who was interviewing them, even some, you know, piece and even in some cases, because of the chemistry, I try to figure it out, it does a good chemistry, even people who can potentially report to that person, okay? And then you get it then you get like feedback, it’s obviously a bigger organization. But if you if you if you will have at least somebody in your team with like, more analytical thinking they knew it can help a lot, you know, so you will have like, complimentary, you know, view and it can be a lot of time and a lot of money also.
Lisa Christen 55:33
Yeah, I just need like a Google translate from directly from my brain into like language that everybody else understands. Yeah.
Jan Muhlfeit 55:43
Peter, Peter is saying, I got injured in floor by mistake, when I hit player from the other team too hard. I got dislocated shoulder and I’m three to six weeks off, it’s hard to realize what to do next time, but if your body did not hold the debt, data, yeah, this this is hard, whether it was mistake or not. But you know, I would now Doubting Thomas, Doubting Thomas, a dude from the Bible. You know? Doubting Thomas, a dude for the Bible verse a guru. I know, this one, it’s tough, but how you can, you know, faster the recovery, I’ve got couple of cases like molten see who is one of the best basketball players, he’s playing for the Czech national team. And he got also injured and we were reading, like, visualizing, you know, all the games, how he was, you know, playing and so on. And it’s helping you those, this visualization is helping you basically to get recover faster, you know, right, because it generates those, you know, what I like endorphin, dopamine, and so on, it can you know, make sure that you are you know, ready faster. So it’s called, Doubting Thomas. Do you? Have you ever had it?
Lisa Christen 57:01
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Jan Muhlfeit 57:03
So it’s never as easy. Thomas who doesn’t believe yeah, absolutely.
Lisa Christen 57:11
Any last, you know, ones you want to share? Jan and I think it’s your turn. Although I have whole list
Jan Muhlfeit 57:18
yeah, I, I would share another one, I would share another one. Right, which which, which I corrected afterwards. But again, it was a it was a mistake. I am a an MBTI, which is like there is a StrengthsFinder, which is psychometric test. MBTI it’s basically about your personality, whether you are extrovert introvert, how you use Briggs, maybe, Myers Briggs yeah, I am M, E, N, T, J, which means extrovert, who decides on intuition is a thinker, and he is a judge a judge, that means like he’s really running by time, you know, right. The receiver you perceive the time is, you know, my VA is perceiver. If we want to move on at three, I’m always telling you be ready at you know, two o’clock, okay, which is like, one hour plus, it’s like the TV, you have also some TV channels one hour, but this is it, you know, this is it, right? So she is definitely perceiver. And I’m judging, you know, right anyway. So those people usually ENTJ is they are good speakers, they are good with the strategy. They are good managers, whatever, there are two caveats, you know, they have number one, they hire the same people, always the same people like them, they like to hire the same people. And number two, they think they are always right. I must confess, I did a couple of fuck ups because of those two things, you know, obviously, you learn as you go by that, and again, if I would read it, I was always like, looking what is great with the ENTJ. And I was okay, that this is you know, fine, but I never really like well, thinking about, hey, I need to be careful. You know, what, I they’re hiring the same people and they think they are always about I’m not like that. But what I started to analyze my fuckup Now was it you know, and then obviously, like, you know, you more feedback you’re getting from the people who really understand what they are talking about, right? It should not be like because there are people who are giving you like non constructive feedback, they just blame you. They don’t blame. So bad feedback and remove your feedback is the breakfast for the champions. Right? Feedback is really, you know, moving you and it is art of giving feedback also, right? Because you don’t want to disappoint the other person or demote, demotivate or whatever. So it’s like you need to whatever is happening, you need to raise the person first and say this was going really very well. Then you can give corrective feedback about you need to criticize the The process criticize the action, not the person, if you criticize the person amygdala will jump up and the person who stopped to listen to, and then you can express, we can even hug the person and if it’s appropriate, and you can express like, Hey, if you will do it like that everything you know will be fine. And we trust you, and you are here for the long term, whatever. And that person is clear what was going well, what he or she needs to do differently. But it’s still inspired, you know, the issue is that a lot of people, if they are leaving the office of the boss, they go, they had this, you know, down, and they are like beaten, this is not leadership, I think, you know, leaders are not, you need to be tough, you know, and there are like, you know, leadership is not democracy, right? Not not not, because democracy is about voting, you know, there are no, they are not voting about you, right, you can listen those people. But then as a leader, you need to decide it’s your decision. It’s not like I was in some companies, and they were like voting on some decision. Fuck, who is here, General Manager, why it’s called General Manager, because that person needs to resign, obviously, there can be a lot of feedback. Don’t take me wrong. Absolutely. You need to listen. But then if you are the guy who is responsible for the p&l or the lady responsible for the p&l, it is your decision. Because if something is going wrong, guess what will happen? Who will?
Lisa Christen 1:01:30
You will be held accountable. Exactly,
Jan Muhlfeit 1:01:33
Lisa Christen 1:01:34
That’s it. Yeah, we could have spent another two hours talking about all these things. But I think the most important thing we’ve opened up we’ve shared and you know, others continue to leave it in the comments, if you want to share, what’s most important is knowing we all do this stuff. Everybody has these stories, everybody has a full Cv of failures. And good keep trying keep pushing, keep setting new ways. Today, I went to the museum of the future in Dubai, it just opened. Yeah, one of the hardest buildings to construct in the world all about the future, you basically go to 2071 and then look back. And there’s no way we’re gonna get to that future where we’re, you know, living out in outer space and to help people experimenting, now we got to push ourselves forward, the world is ambiguous, it’s never going to be clearer. It’s never going to be more simple. It’s never going to be like, you know, safe. We have to keep exploring, we have to keep being open to learning. So don’t think of fuck ups and mistakes as failures. Think of them as part of you getting to your best self.
Jan Muhlfeit 1:02:46
Absolutely, absolutely. Okay, guys. Thanks very much. And looking forward in two weeks. Lisa will be already in New York.
Lisa Christen 1:02:55
Sure. I’ll be in New York. But Jan, I think you were busy in two weeks.
Jan Muhlfeit 1:03:00
We will do we will do another date. Absolutely. But we will let you know. I can’t you know, do it. That’s true.
Lisa Christen 1:03:05
Yeah, but we’ll let you guys know soon and we’ll put some fun tips it through
Jan Muhlfeit 1:03:11
for Peter who Barczyk. Peter, you may want to read some interviews with Martin Sheesh, the basketball player what he did, it was like two years ago or three years ago, it was 2019. What he did in terms of with his his physiology, what we what we did in terms of visualization, because he really recovered, you know, very, very fast everybody was like, you know, very surprised. Okay, perfect. .
Lisa Christen 1:03:37
Cool, All right. Take care everyone.
Jan Muhlfeit 1:03:40
Thank you. Thank you.