Anatomy of a Lessons Learned Summary

Anatomy of a Lessons Learned Summary
Medical Office Manager – March 2019 
by Cheryl Toth

What do you call the CEO of three failed start-up companies? Experienced.

Leaders like this are hired time and again because they’ve made mistakes and learned from them. The lessons they take with them to their next role carry a lot of value.

A rite of passage to becoming a great manager is learning to fail in a way that stretches you without breaking you and results in wisdom that improves your resilience and future decision-making. In other words, failure is not necessarily bad. Your ability to grow from the experience, however, depends on your willingness to honestly assess the good, the bad, and the ugly of what went wrong and why.

Creating a written summary of these lessons is an invaluable way to conduct this assessment, as well as to get everyone’s feedback on the table. Even if you don’t refer to the written summary ever again, the process of reflection and documentation will embed at least the high priority learnings into your culture.

Writing the summary

Here are five questions to guide your summary.

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