Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Error Disguise

"Be wary of admissions of minor errors."

William Safire,"How to Read a Column," September 28,2009,reprinted from January 24, 2005.

His point is that admitting minor errors can be a ploy to cover up the big mistake that gets no mention. I've found this to be a pitfall when writing about foundation and nonprofit mistakes. And thinking about my own. It's much easier writing about tactical mistakes than questioning the whole strategy or investment. Frequently timely catching of these errors can lead to midcourse corrections and happy endings. That's the way it should work. But what hasn't been said?

Another version of this advice might be, "Beware of minor successes that lead you to ignore the overall failure." It's easy to get caught up in the positive thinking of a little progress, valuable lessons, stories, new mistakes. Meanwhile the original goals of the investment have been forgotten, redefined, or simply banished from discussion. If we keep moving the goal posts or re-imagining the goal posts altogether, we can avoid failure completely.

1 comment:

karim said...

Very thoughtfull post on positivethinking. It should be very much helpfull.

Thanks,
Karim - Positive thinking