This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.
In 2013 my colleague and friend Jake Breeden published his first book—equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking, I’m sure, as it is for most authors. He sent a mass email to his subscriber list announcing the book’s long-awaited release.
Unfortunately, Jake got the subtitle of his book wrong in his email.
In the words of a well-known Mozilla Firefox error message, “Well, this is embarrassing.”
What Jake did next was a brilliant example of how to make good friends with his mistake—and build trust (and followers) as a result.
Here’s the second email he sent:
Subject line: Make that “Work Habits” not “Word Habits”
My first email blast had a typo. I got the subtitle of my book wrong. My book is …
Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits that Masquerade as Virtues
On my last note I typed “word habits” instead of “work habits.” I need to work on my word habits, I guess. You’ll be happy to know I wrote my book, but I didn’t edit it. A professional editor at my publisher did (my publisher, by the way, is Jossey-Bass, the #1 publisher of leadership books).
Thanks for reading my unedited emails and, hopefully, my edited book,
There are four things I love about Jake’s second email:
Jake could have easily let his oops slip by, not sending the second note—either hoping people wouldn’t notice or assuming that, if they did, they got the gist of his message. Instead, Jake made a different choice.
I really like different choices when it comes to trust-building.
This week, don’t go out of your way to make mistakes; do look for ways to make the most out of any mistakes you make. How might you apply “the Jake Model”?
Here’s to standing out in the crowd.