Posted on November 2, 2009


It’s hard not to think about people recovering from mistakes these days. Mickey Rourke is back, thanks to The Wrestler. David Caruso came back with CSI: Miami (although, in truth, he was always working – we just didn’t see everything he did). The November issue of Men’s Health has a cover story about Jason Bateman, who has an adult career thanks to Arrested Development. Consider John Travolta’s career before Quentin Tarantino plucked him out of obscurity for Pulp Fiction. Hey, I can go back further than that – Kurt Russell was a Disney child actor until director John Carpenter cast him as Elvis in a TV movie. That led to them teaming up for The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China. Let’s not forget the 86-year drought of the Boston Red Sox!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that work continues to be a struggle for these people. I’m sure that producers and directors (the actors’ equivalent of hiring managers) have misgivings or second thoughts every time one of these men goes for a part. The thing is, we all make mistakes and we can all learn something from people who’ve recovered.

  • Learn. If you need to speak with a professional, do it, but learn from the events in your life. Really dig. Ask people to be honest with you about your mistake.
  • Apologize. Don’t say “I’m sorry.” Nobody cares that you feel sorry about your mistake. On the other hand, when you say “I apologize,” you’re taking responsibility and ownership. That helps people take the first step to forgiving you.
  • Grow. If some part of your life or your psychology is self-destructive, deal with it and overcome it.
  • Endure. Never give up. Keep trying. Stick with it. You will succeed.
  • Love. Positive energy is catching. It’s engaging and addictive. You’ve got to find a way to put the baggage of your mistake aside and move forward with joy in your heart.
  • Deliver. You’re only going to get so many second chances. Make the most of each one. Bring your A-game.
Posted in: Leadership, Movies