A few years ago, I was working as a young matrimonial attorney. I didn’t love it, but I took a great sense of pride in my work and always gave every assignment 100%. One thing I was always mindful of was deadlines. Litigation has very specific rules about when things are due, and I was always careful to mark down important dates in my calendar. One day, as I sat in my office casually responding to e-mails, I received a phone call from my opposing counsel on a complicated child support case. She wanted to know if my opposition to her motion would be arriving soon because it was nearing 5:00 p.m., and she was on her way out. My stomach dropped and my heart began to beat out of my chest – I had totally and completely forgotten to draft the opposing papers.
Thankfully, I had developed a good relationship with my opposing counsel, and she agreed to give me an extra day to serve my response. I was enormously grateful and relieved, but felt disappointed and ashamed to tell my boss about how I had dropped the ball. He was not pleased, but after I promised to never let it happen again (and didn’t), he came around. A few years later, I picked up a book that brought back the memory of that episode: Mistakes I Made At Work, 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting it Wrong.
This book really resonated with me because like most women, I feel a lot of pressure to be perfect, especially at work. I had this notion that the most successful women were those who always had the answer and did everything right. This book is an enlightening collection of errors, mishaps, and mistakes made by women leaders at work, how they got through them, and what they learned. It’s full of fun stories and advice that helped me to realize that mistakes happen to everyone and they are not usually fatal. In fact, mistakes are often our biggest opportunities for growth. This book is for anyone who feels the pressure of perfectionism or who just wants to feel like they’re not alone. If you have a book club, this would be a great pick because there are so many stories to relate to and discuss. It’s also a great book to pick up from time to time when you need a reminder that it will all be OK.
If you’ve read this book, or have any other books you love, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments. Happy Thursday, everyone!