Monday, June 24, 2019

Mistakes and Decisions

"I once developed a new product that failed badly, and General Johnson called me in, and I was sure he was going to fire me. I had just come in late when his secretary called, and he was always in early. I can remember walking over to his office, and I was not that upset. I was kind of excited. Johnson said to me, 'I understand you lost over a million dollars.' I can't remember the exact amount. It seemed like a lot then. And I said, 'Yes, sir. That's correct.' So he stood up and held out his hand. He said, 'I just want to congratulate you. All business is making decisions, and if you don't make decisions, you won't have any failures. The hardest job I have is getting people to make decisions. If you make that same decision wrong again, I'll fire you. But I hope you'll make a lot of others, and that you'll understand there are going to be more failures than successes.'"

- James Burke, chairman & CEO, Johnson & Johnson, quoted in On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

No comments: