My best career mistake: Not asking for help

My grandmother quipped, “A mistake is evidence someone has tried to do something.” We can shorten our learning curve by heeding the mistakes of others. What worked and what didn’t. Here are a few keen observations. Jim


The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “What’s the best mistake you ever made?” is written by Sandhya Venkatachalam, partner and co-founder of Centerview Capital.

Albert Einstein once said: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

However, in my view, there are good mistakes and bad mistakes. Good mistakes can be choices that seem wrong initially, but in fact lead to new innovations orlessons learned.

Being a big fan of trying new things, I seem to constantly be making what others initially view as mistakes:

  • In 2001, in the wake of the dot-com bust, I left Wall Street to join an early stage, engineering-centric startup, Andiamo Systems.I walked in with no tech or coding experience. Some thought…

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Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

Posted in Leadership

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