People are known as much by the quality of their failures as by the quantity of their successes. So if you're going to make mistakes (and believe me, you will), make sure they are smart rather than dumb ones. "Dumb errors" tend to be sins of omission - where you are expected to do something and, either trhough incompetence or forgetfulness, don't. "Smart errors" tend to be sins of commission - for example, as your company's chief financial officer, you decide the dollar will go down, act accordingly, and then it doesn't. If you've done your homework, your career (like the dollar) will recover.

source: Mark McCormack, What They Still Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School, 151 tags: Failure, Mistake, Personal Growth