I recently finished a book about the Civil War. Ulysses Grant, a West Point graduate who resigned from the army in 1854, stood out to me. For seven years after his resignation until the start of the Civil War, his family lived in poverty.
In 1861, Grant started the war as a Colonel of Volunteers. By 1864, he was given command of all Union armies.
At Cold Harbor, Grant was trying to finish off Lee’s army and ordered an attack against an entrenched Confederate army. The Union Army had over 50,000 casualties. It was his worst mistake of the war.
Grant’s response was, “I have always regretted that last assault at Cold Harbor. We gained no advantage whatsoever to compensate for the loss sustained.”
The lesson from Grant is this: good managers and successful individuals recognize they have made mistakes. They are not hesitant to admit it and take full responsibility for their actions.
Do you accept responsibility for your mistakes? Until you do, you can never learn from them.