Jonah Lehrer, writing in How We Decide, cites the value of flight simulators in pilot training. The goal is for pilots to think about mistakes when they don’t count so they can make the right decision when it does count. Using flight simulators prepares the pilot’s brains in advance.
Because the decisions we make as leaders are rarely a matter of life and death, we get to think about our mistakes – and what we can do next time to improve.
Neuroscience suggests this approach targets the brain’s dopamine center which improves itself by studying its errors. Making a mistake is an opportunity to train our brains to make a correct decision next time.
So failure is nothing to fear.
Just think of it as our Leadership Flight Simulator.