It’s a common phrase to say, learn from your mistakes.
It’s less common, when I interview people for jobs, for them to admit, or even acknowledge them.
One interview question I started giving, was simple. What was the biggest mistake you felt, you made in your last job?
Good people will say, I screwed this up and it was my fault. I would change this and that. And next time I will do this differently in this way.
The others would be, that other person screwed me, the environment was bad, this and that.
How do you learn from mistakes when you do not acknowledge them, personally? Well, you don’t. Why you don’t knowledge them is often a combination of insecurity, ego, politics, etc.
It’s not just a company issue — for the people I talk to, I default to the question whether it is a friend asking counsel for a personal relationship, or some strife with their company, etc.. I always ask, what did you do wrong? And if they don’t have an answer, I get a sinking feeling.
Mistakes and their outcomes are always two sided affairs. I’ve rarely seen situations where one side was entirely to blame. The difference is whether we spend time blaming each other — or, learning from the situation.
And I’ve rarely seen one person take the totality of the responsibility, even if not warranted, on their shoulders.
But those folks learned while others didn’t. Those folks are rare.