He won the race. He lost the tooth. Well, part of it anyway. When my speed demon son face-planted into the boards at the local ice skating rink, he was thrilled to have beaten the teenagers who challenged him to a race, thinking a scrawny 11-year-old didn’t stand a chance. I was less thrilled when I saw his “now-I’m-a-real-hockey-player” smile.
But I’ve taken solace in the fact that his chipped tooth could change the world — or perhaps his trajectory in it. Seem far-fetched? Maybe. But it was a chipped tooth that changed the face of rock and roll — or at least its facial hair.
In 1965, Paul McCartney was in a moped accident and chipped his tooth. He also split his lip and decided to grow a mustache to cover up the whole unsightly affair. Well, says Paul, “It caught on with the guys in the group: if one of us did something like growing his hair long and we liked the idea, we’d all tend to do it. And then it became seen as a kind of revolutionary idea, that young men of our age definitely ought to grow a moustache! And it all fell in with the Sgt. Pepper thing, because he had a droopy moustache.” (Paul McCartney, Anthology). And so, scraggly rock stars were born.
Accidents happen…especially to my son. And from this one, I hope he learns to slow down a little. But what about when accidents happen at work? That’s when you’re called upon to clean it up and keep it moving. And you do that well. But I encourage you to go a step beyond and really investigate what went wrong, why, and what might be learned from it. (Here’s a list of 10 accidental business successes to inspire you.) You just might discover an opportunity to enact a proactive policy, identify a new best practice, or unearth something that could change the face of your business. Or maybe you’ll just figure out a way not to face plant again.
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