If you lead an organization you’ve been there. You get an email introduction from a friend or colleague encouraging you to carve out some time to meet so and so with nothing but ambiguity circling around the purpose of the meeting. You glance at your calendar, never ending to-do list, backlogged inbox and anxiety starts to build. You don’t want to be a jerk and blow the person off, but you have so little margin as it is that making time for a new connection feels impossible. Maybe even unwise.

Depending upon your personality type you likely navigate these types of situations in one of three ways.

Most of my leadership journey has been marked by mistakes. Shaped by failures, not victories. I have gotten more wrong than I have right and I’ve got the scars to prove it. I’ve stubbed my toes on problems that could have been avoided with some combination of maturity and humility that doesn’t always come naturally to me. I’ve run a business into the ground. I’ve lost great employees because of failures in my leadership. I’ve missed out on significant opportunities because I was focused on the wrong things. If this were a list of things great leaders NEVER do I could write you a novel. Maybe someday.

Thankfully, I’ve been afforded second, third, and fourth chances. Undeserved to be sure, but I’ve done what I can to take advantage of them.