Stick around long enough, and it’s bound to happen — either you, a subordinate or one of your leaders will make a mistake that could end a career.

Not if — but when mistakes happen, most people immediately distance themselves from the suspected culprit in an attempt to avoid fallout. While that may work in an every-person-out-for-themselves environment, it’s not how high-performing teams operate.

Rather than letting career-ending mistakes end a career and create long-lasting fallout, elite teams mitigate the damage of big mistakes. They then prevent them from happening again and if possible, salvage the career of their teammate.

As part of a group sent to study the highest-performing teams on the planet, I saw firsthand how elite teams handle big mistakes.

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