The Phone Call That Taught Me to Respond, Not React

In this series, professionals reflect on their inevitable career mistakes. Follow the stories here and write your own (please include #BestMistake in your post).

My best mistake was both a specific incident, and an awakening. The incident I detail, so that others can learn from it. The awakening I share because I learned from it.

My awakening was realizing that you seldom actually make any real mistakes in life. Most mistakes are opportunities to actually learn something, to become stronger, better, wiser. To grow as a person. Rainbows, after storms.

When you are a leader, you are a decision maker. When you are a decision maker, you will find that some of your decisions didn't work out so well. And in time, you learn — that’s OK.

Life is 10 percent what life does to you, and 90 percent how you choose to respond to it. What’s your response to life going to be?

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John Hope Bryant is the Founder, Chairman and CEO ofOperation HOPE and Bryant Group Ventures, an Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass)His newest bestselling book is How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class (Berrett Koehler Publishing).

Bryant is a Member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index with the Gallup Organization, and co-chair for Project 5117, which is a plan for the rebirth of underserved America.

Bryant is the only bestselling author on economics in the world who is also of African-American descent.

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