How should Politicians handle mistakes?

Politicians make mistakes.

You and I make mistakes.

My hero, Buckminster Fuller (1896-1983) stated clearly, and my research has shown this to be true, that human beings only learn through trial and error. Making mistakes is an inevitable process of getting better at whatever you want to get better at.

As a professional speaker, I continue to make mistakes as I work on developing my skills on the platform or in workshops. I don’t like making them, but I know I need to!

In Victoria, the Auditor-General has recently reported that the Victorian Government’s Department of Justice had a bad process, read ‘mistaken’, for the auction of poker machines. The Government missed out on over $3 billion of revenue for this mistake.

How should the Premier of Victoria, indeed all political leaders, handle such mistakes?

I believe that a clear mistakes policy needs to be articulated against which behaviours are measured. I have helped many senior executives craft such policies for themselves and for their organisations. It is possible to do this and the benefits are many.

My message to you is this: what do you believe about the mistakes you make in your life? What is your philosophy on handling them?

And if a politician expressed such a view, would that help you in deciding whether to vote or not vote for that politician?