“If you’re not making mistakes, the chances are you’re not doing enough.”

James Gorman, the esteemed business leader known for his insightful and forward-thinking approach, recently imparted a piece of advice that is both profound and pragmatic: “If you’re not making mistakes, the chances are you’re not doing enough.” These parting words, simple yet profound, encapsulate a significant philosophy in the world of business and beyond.

Embracing Risk and Learning from Mistakes

Mr. Gorman’s statement encourages a culture of risk-taking and learning. In the fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape, the fear of making mistakes can often hinder innovation and bold decision-making. Mr. Gorman’s perspective suggests that making mistakes is not just inevitable but also a necessary part of progress and growth. It’s a reminder that every error provides an opportunity to learn, adapt, and improve.

The Importance of an Active Approach

The phrase also underscores the importance of being proactive. In Mr. Gorman’s view, doing ‘enough’ means constantly pushing boundaries and exploring new horizons. Companies and individuals who play it safe and stick to the tried and tested methods may achieve consistency, but they miss out on the chance to discover and innovate. Mr. Gorman’s words advocate for an active approach, where striving for more and daring to fail is the pathway to success.

Cultivating a Resilient Mindset

Moreover, Mr. Gorman’s advice is a call to cultivate resilience. In the face of mistakes, the natural inclination might be to retreat or give up. However, embracing mistakes as part of the journey fosters a resilient mindset. It’s about bouncing back from setbacks with a deeper understanding and a renewed determination to succeed.

Implications for Leadership and Management

For leaders and managers, these words serve as a guideline for fostering a healthy work environment. It encourages them to create a space where employees feel safe to take risks and innovate without the fear of retribution for mistakes. This approach can lead to higher creativity, better problem-solving, and ultimately, more significant advancements.


James Gorman’s parting words, “If you’re not making mistakes, the chances are you’re not doing enough,” is more than just advice; it’s a philosophy for growth and innovation. It encourages risk-taking, promotes an active approach, cultivates resilience, and guides leadership. In a world that is rapidly changing and highly competitive, embracing this mindset could be the key to unlocking potential and achieving extraordinary success.

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