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I once got called into a bosses office for a spelling mistake. “I expect more from one of our front line communicators,” he said.

“I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

He seemed relieved and that was the end of it. I actually think it made our relationship stronger.

I spell checked all emails, including the one with the misspelling. Apparently my word was so grossly misspelled, spell check suggested the correct spelling of a word other than the one I intended. So I had tried. It hadn’t been completely careless. I responded to tons of customer’s emails and this was just one mistake. Look at it from the bosses perspective and that sort of thing doesn’t matter.

Many of the young people I talk to that are just launching their careers feel stuck in thankless jobs that don’t challenge them to their full potential. Their work is routine and demands organizational skills, not critical thinking. Frustrated, asking themselves if they’re ever going to see the value of that graduate degree, they make silly mistakes – human mistakes that by way or our humanness are not entirely avoidable, at least from the perspective of the person making them. Not so for the boss who will likely not perceive readiness to advance in silly mistakes born out of boredom.

Take ownership for your mistakes. Taking ownership of mistakes is taking ownership of our share of control we exert over our outcomes.