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The Uncommon Advantage: Learning to Leverage Mistakes, and Criticize Successes

Matt Soike, President of Magnifi U

Odd title? Maybe. Harsh subtitle? Possibly. Stick with me for a second.

This may sound generic, but I’m going to say it anyway. Ready? At Magnifi U, we dream of making the world a better place. Okay, I get it. Any President, of any organization, would say something similar. In fact, almost every company believes they’re trying to make the world a better place. So, why would you believe I’m saying anything different? Well, because while I might be saying something similar to every other company’s President, we’re actually doing some things very differently to engage and educate our students. Of course, this is the part where you might expect me to showcase all the bells and whistles of Magnifi U. You might expect a soft sales pitch. You might expect me to talk our cool technology, our fantastic curriculum, and all kinds of other stuff. But, I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to talk about “How we think.”

Let me ask you a question: What gives one company, one leader, or one individual an advantage over anyone else? Here’s the simple answer: It’s the ability to separate emotion from data. Again, that might feel like a cut-throat response. In a way, it is. However, that doesn’t make the response untrue. Companies, leaders, and individuals who have the ability to assess results (good, bad, ugly, or spectacular) and dispassionately learn from their results will always have an uncommon advantage. Why? Well, that’s the fun part of this conversation.

There was a time when the human species believed the furthest a human being could run was 26.2 miles. Think about this. We actually believed if you ran that distance, you would die. 

There are a ton of other examples as well. There was a time when cigarette companies actually attempted to convince consumers that smoking was healthy. There was a time when engineers couldn’t imagine a self-driving car. And, yes, there was a time when humans believed the Earth was flat. So, what happened to change all these beliefs? Data proved there were other possibilities, other realities, and other opportunities.

While the beliefs I mentioned above seem like substantial examples, it’s important for all of us to realize that we—as individuals, teams, and organizations—are creating positive and negative results daily. And, with those results comes the ability to collect data. Sure, it doesn’t feel good to fail. But, instead of stewing about poor results or placing blame, our goal should simply be to assess data. Equally important, it feels amazing to win—to create tremendous results. Yet, celebrating those wins shouldn’t be your only focus, and learning what you did right, shouldn’t be either. Your goal should still be focused on the data—all of it—to learn where you may have performed better.

At Magnifi U, we talk about data consistently. We study our results relentlessly with the hopes of improving our content, our delivery, and the lives of every student daily. And, that’s what’s giving us an uncommon advantage—the ability to pivot as we collect data. 

In fact, we recently launched a new course on Entrepreneurialism, where co-creator Ryan Miller covers this topic in great deal—teaching students to Measure and Evaluate Data and analyze both the positive and negative impact. I highly recommend the entire course. Ryan is a brilliant guy.

Gain your uncommon advantage. Learn how to pivot. And, enjoy everything you learn along the way. 

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About Magnifi U

Magnifi U is a free, immersive, online personal and professional development platform that helps people align with their purpose and harness their unique superpowers.

From helping individuals nurture their well-being with free courses on how to Embrace Happiness and Building Resilience to providing them with tools to help them identify their unique strengths or develop their professional leadership skills, Magnifi U’s mission is to help everyone unlock their full potential.

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