Introduction

Mistakes.

We all make them. There's nothing more personal, and nothing more powerful than the lessons taken from them. If you don't believe me, just ask some of the most accomplished people in America. That's exactly what I did in Forbes Best Business Mistakes: How Today's Top Business Leaders Turned Missteps into Success.

The strange thing is that these folks willingly talked to me about their missteps. I've worked for some of the biggest corporations and most successful television networks in the country and I've discovered that almost nobody else wants to talk about them. At least not in a positive way.

When you're at a dinner party or gathering of professional colleagues, you don't hear someone brag about how they made a huge mistake and it helped get them where they are today. No aspiring top-level executive is going to tap his fork against his wine glass to get the room's attention and then launch into a recounting of a monumental misstep that led to his professional demise—and his ultimate phoenixlike rise from the ashes to professional heights due to the lessons learned from a career blunder.

No, you usually hear about how smart someone is—about how they made a deft decision or arranged a crafty deal or picked an unknown stock that soared beyond anyone's expectations. But it might be a more valuable story to hear what went wrong. From talking to the people in this book, I've concluded that making mistakes and learning from them is an essential part of the process ...

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