When you make a mistake that can impact the company, it’s no longer about you and your career. It’s solely about the impact that mistake can have upon the company. The worst thing you can do in that situation is keep it to yourself, try to fix it on your own, and wait to tell others when greater damage has potentially been done.
The sooner the mistake can be addressed and resolved, the less impact it will have on the company. I once heard a business leader tell a young professional that when they make a mistake, it’s their (the young professional’s) responsibility to fix it. My immediate thought was that’s poor advice. Instead, their first course of action should be to make it known to management, then bring solutions to the table.
As a seasoned CEO, I have witnessed a lot of mistakes. Most mistakes made by young managers are not new to me; there’s even a good chance I have made many of the same mistakes in the past. Furthermore, I probably already know the best plan of action to remedy the problem.
Making mistakes is expected and acceptable. However, not immediately notifying your boss or team leader of the mistake is not.