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Will Your Next Mistake Be Fatal? by Robert Mittelstaedt

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1. The Power of M3 and the Need to Understand Mistakes

“Anything worth doing is worth doing right.”

—My dad and others of his era

Doing things right in business has gotten a lot of press in recent years. We seem to have finally discovered that just having ideas is not enough. Results are what really matter, and results come from both ideas and execution, but the biggest enemy of great execution is mistakes.

I learned many things while serving as an officer in U.S. Navy nuclear submarines in the late 1960s, but one of the things you heard from the beginning was the saying, “There’s no partial credit in the fleet.” Win or lose in battle—there is no in-between—something that is especially true in the unforgiving environment hundreds of feet below ...

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