Let your team make mistakes

What’s your reaction when something goes wrong? Do you get defensive, try to shift blame, or explain the problem away? Or, do you embrace the mistake, learn from it and move on?

In production, mistakes are inevitable. It’s your job as the leader to master how you respond when mistakes happen.

Expect mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable. Nothing in production ever goes perfectly. Even the largest productions have mistakes. The difference with large productions is they expect something to go wrong and are prepared when it happens.

Instead of trying to avoid mistakes, anticipate them and have a plan for when things go wrong. Mistakes are going to happen, and that’s okay. You have to expect mistakes and change how you respond to them.

Reframe how you see mistakes

Mistakes are how you learn. If you want to lead and grow a team, especially one of volunteers, you have to be okay with them making mistakes. Mistakes are not failure, they’re part of the process.

As your team makes mistakes, they’ll learn. As a leader, this is what you want! You want to see your team grow and gain confidence in their skills; you want to see them master their craft. There’s no better way to learn than learning from your mistakes.

It’s your job as the leader to help your team learn from their mistakes. Don’t rob your team of the chance to learn, embrace the mistakes and help your team grow.

Change how you respond to mistakes

If you want to see your team flourish — you have to master how you respond to mistakes. What’s your reaction when something goes wrong? Do you get tense and stressed or do you embrace the mistake and learn from it?

You’re the leader – how you react sets the tone for what happens when someone messes up. If something goes wrong and you get quiet and simmer in frustration or lash out in anger, you’re hurting your team and teaching them it’s not okay to make mistakes.

You have to be able to embrace mistakes and move on together. Instead of responding to mistakes in stress or frustration, get to a place where you can laugh together or say to your team “it’s alright, we’ll catch it next time.” The goal is to embrace mistakes, celebrate mistakes and learn from them.

Create a culture where mistakes are welcome

You want your team to feel free to make mistakes. To do this, create a team culture where mistakes are not just allowed, but embraced.

Let your team make mistakes. Mistakes happen: don’t just expect them, welcome them. As you embrace the mistakes, your team will grow. Giving your team permission to make mistakes empowers them to do their best work.

This type of culture comes from one place: a strong leader. You set the tone, you create the culture for what happens when things go wrong. Mistakes are inevitable, and the way you respond to them as a leader sets the tone for your team’s success. Be a leader who embraces and celebrates mistakes.

Finally, here are the 4 main steps to remember as your master mistakes with your team:

  1. Expect mistakes
  2. Embrace mistakes
  3. Celebrate mistakes
  4. Learn from mistakes


The Production Pastor is about helping you (and your team) grow as Technical Artists and Disciples of JesusLearn more

Become a Better Technical Artist

Sign up to receive weekly lessons (delivered each Friday) highlighting stories and lessons I’ve learned from my own journey in production ministry. Sign up and learn more about how you can grow as a technical artist.