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video didn't kill the radio star

covering up

_blog_wpcontent_uploads_2007_08_f_2What would the world look like if we all wore our TRUE selves on our sleeves?
We've all done things we'd like to forget and said things we wish we hadn't.  Sometimes this is because we made a mistake outright; other times this is because we did not anticipate the results of actions (or inactions).

So what is a person to do?  Should we cover up our past, sweep it under the rug and act as if it never happened?   As long as it doesn't hurt anyone, I probably would.  But how would our responses be different if no one would ever know that the mistake was made?

A good friend once told me that we are little more than a collection of everything we have done.  Even the greatest of men made mistakes, but true greatness is defined not by a perfect record but by the progress that was achieved following those errors.  Any fool can act in error, but only the great can learn from them.  Jack Welch loves to talk about the time when he was a new employee that he nearly blew up a lab, but in today's corporate world, would he ever develop into the leader has become?

To what extent do we discourage experimentation when we jump on the mistakes of early movers?  We love to rip on the Starwood Loft Second Life Campaign, but who among us would have the cajones to propose a million dollar build in an unproven and unknown emerging media property?  And truth be told, they nailed the trend!  Second Life took off, and the resulting PR alone was well worth the money spent! 

We pressure our Presidents into saying they experimented with illegal drugs when in reality they went to college and did the normal college thing, we pressure students in cheating when we grade on unfair performance curves.  Why is it that we cannot accept that we are all human, that we all make mistakes?  Why can't we encourage one another to keep on trucking, keep on trying, keep on innovating, and work with one another to pick ourselves up, shake off the dust, and collectively learn from the experience?

How different would the world look if we all wore our TRUE histories on our sleeves?

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