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Blunders, troubles, and boo-boos, oh my! March 16th, 2007 | No Comments

Learning from others’ missteps (okay, maybe learning from our own)

Have you ever made made a mistake? Had a series of unfortunate circumstances grow immeasurably worse because of a bad decision? Take heart – on two counts: you are just like everyone else, we all make mistakes, and we can learn from them and do better the next time!

Just last week I was all set to draw parallels between what Jet Blue did (and failed to do) and what you need to avoid when going through your high school years and when applying to colleges… You remember the Jet Blue fiasco from last month, right – flights cancelled, people stranded all over the country, and stuck in airports for days?

Jet Blue’s management made a series of bad decisions which impacted its service at that time, and their reputation for months to come (not to mention the financial losses from those days of mismanagement and the loss of future passengers… will you fly Jet Blue in winter?)

Today is a different day! Amazingly, happily, Jet Blue just made the right move both last night and today. The company cancelled over 200 flights rather than face the same problems because there’s a winter storm in the northeast. There’s lots to be learned from Jet blue’s debacle and its recovery:

When things start going wrong, be sure to…
Handle it asap…
whether it’s a “bad” grade for a test or a quarter, or a “bad” year because of personal or family changes/difficulties. Check in with all areas of your life to see how you’re thinking and feeling – we all go through ups and downs, the key is to recognize where you’re at and respond appropriately.

If you need help “fixing” the problem, reach out for resources.
Get the support you need from folks in school, your family, friends, or from your community. Who will you turn to for support – probably there are different answers for different types of obstacles that you will face.

Own up to your mistakes
There is (almost) nothing more appealing that folks who recognize their mistakes, sincerely explain the circumstances, (not justifying actions, just explaining), and show how they have corrected the situation and learned from it.

Don’t let it happen again (to the best of your ability).
Think pro-actively – I know, planning for the unforeseen or unlikely seems almost like having to peer into a crystal ball – yet, in Jet Blue’s case, the management could have imagined bad weather… What might you imagine as stumbling blocks – problems you would need to respond to FAST so that they don’t snowball? Those might include a very difficult subject and sagging grades, perhaps a poor relationship with a teacher, a personal problem or family issue that gets in the way of concentrating on your work, making your motivation, grades or relationships suffer.

So follow in Jet Blue’s footsteps and recover from your mistakes! I have a friend who often talks in terms of “lessons learned” – it’s something we all can – and need – to do!

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