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Corporate Bullets Are Rubber: They Hurt But Won’t Kill

A real gunslinger in the Old West usually got to make only one mistake, and then he was dead. Not so in the corporate saloon. Mistakes seldom kill or even maim. Instead, they sting. The bruise they leave is a lesson, not a mortal wound. We’re frequently as apprehensive of risk-taking as a participant in a real gunfight may feel, and sometimes we mistake a bruised ego for a career-ending blow. Don’t do this. See the bullets for what they really are—lessons from which to learn, knocks on your ego that help you to subject yourself to discipline, professionalism, and a focus on results.

There are worse things in the world than screwing up at work. I’ve survived a million different mistakes that I thought would end my career—before I made them, and then realized that they weren’t such a big deal after all. Messing up, learning we messed up, and then avoiding the same mistake in the future is how we grow.

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