I was in my mid-twenties and only with the company for a few years when I was given a large advertising project to complete. My specific mission was to arrange for the printing of tens of thousands of circulars, in color, which included four pages of discounted products. The headline item on the cover page was to be a $99, 13-inch television.
I approved the final copy for production but failed to realize the item described on the cover referenced a completely different 13-inch TV, which carried a sale price of over $300.00. The incorrect fliers were shipped to more than 300 retail stores who were preparing to arrange for these ads to be inserted in their local newspapers. Someone caught the mistake and notified me.
I was terrified wondering what to do and if I would be fired.
The fear and worry paralyzed me. Fortunately, the man I reported to at work was a leader rather than a boss. He practiced with complete success the ability to filter out the negative and focus on the positive.
His plan was simple – let’s quickly contact each retail dealer, explain our mistake, and explain they would receive corrected fliers within 24 hours. At the same time, he called the printer and negotiated a reprint with shipment to be received by these retailers the next day. Our explanation was that we not only made a mistake, but how these customers could depend on us to correct our mistakes and make them whole.
The result: satisfied and happy customers, plus a few huge lessons learned.
- Be diligent when approving your work. It is the signature of your passion, discipline, and dedication.
- When mistakes do happen, don’t place blame – fix them.
- Be a leader with your team, not a boss. I was encouraged to make amends for my mistake, but most of all, I became more loyal to my mentor/leader than ever before.
And there was one more outcome: I couldn’t wait for a do-over.
I was anxious to prove to everyone, including myself, that I was qualified for my position and could produce effective results.
Sooner than I expected, my opportunity for a do-over came. I was asked to write the copy for a television commercial for one of our products, find talent to be in the commercial and finally, secure someone to record it. The outcome? It became a national television spot for, at the time, one of the ten largest companies in the world.
Filter out the negative and think only about the positive. And remember, the do-overs can be the most successful – and fun – parts of your work.
For more similar ideas find Faith Positive in a Negative World at Amazon now.
Thank you for reading our story. Would you now share your own story about a mistake and/or a do-over and how they have made you better at what you do?
About Mike Van Vranken
Mike Van Vranken, a lifelong Catholic, is a writer, speaker, retreat leader, and teacher. Following forty years of leading, coaching, and developing business owners, Mike founded Mike Van Vranken Ministries to fulfill his passion to bring Jesus to the world around him. He brings his experiences as a mentor, leader, speaker, coach, and entrepreneur to provide teaching and spiritual leadership to all who are interested. His dream is to deliver the teachings of Jesus to women and men, old and young, poor and rich, people of every background and diversity – to the entire body of Christ.
Mike is co-author of the brand new book: Faith Positive in a Negative World. In paperback and on Kindle now at amazon.com.
Mike is an adjunct professor for the Bishop Greco Institute for Adult Formation of the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport. He writes a monthly column for the Catholic Connection, a magazine published by his Diocese. He served on the founding Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of North Louisiana. He gives Lenten, Advent, and Spiritual Missions, Keynote addresses, Breakout presentations, and he leads retreats. He holds a Masters Degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas. He and Barbara, his wife of 42 years, live in Shreveport, LA.
Discover more about Mike at: www.mikevanvrankenministries.org as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google.
About the Book:
Faith Positive in a Negative World – Redefine Your Reality and Achieve Your Spiritual Dreams – available now at www.amazon.com.
Mike co-authored this book with Dr. Joey Faucette. Dr. Joey is an ordained Baptist Minister and is also a Christian Business Coach. The book is targeted towards Christian business and professional people who want to increase their faith with greater joy at work so they can love God and others more by bringing Jesus to their workplace. It is based on five biblically sound core principles to help them have a Christ-like lifestyle at work. The book is valuable and appropriate for any Christian that works anywhere, including those who volunteer at their church or other non-profit. It is endorsed by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
We are also offering weekly webinars for people after they have read the book to help them apply what the book says. People who are interested will sign up and pay for the webinars and they will receive them each week.