Community Spotlight

“Changing my mindset from a fear of failure to looking at risks and failure as an opportunity to learn has greatly improved my confidence and resilience in various situations.”

Matt Orth ݀݀• Robotics Engineer at John Deere ISG • Pi515 Mentor & Volunteer

Within our community lies talent, experience, wisdom and inspiration. Pi515’s Community Spotlight is a blog segment dedicated to highlighting exemplary individuals within our community as well as encouraging and empowering youth to explore their professional potential and interests.

How have you built confidence and resilience over the years of your career?

The largest improvement I have had in confidence and resilience through my career was a mindset change for how I view failure. Grades in school prime our brain to thinking that taking risks and failure is always a bad thing, but that is not necessarily the case. Changing my mindset from a fear of failure to looking at risks and failure as an opportunity to learn has greatly improved my confidence and resilience in various situations. My recommendation for making this mindset change is to not dwell on the failure itself, but instead think about lessons learned from the situation and how you can apply those moving forward to prevent similar mistakes and improve your skills!

What advice would you give to young adults when it comes to navigating imposter syndrome and perfectionism?

Impostor syndrome and perfectionism are two very real feelings individuals, especially early in their career, deal with. One piece of advice I would give for these are to seek feedback from people you work with (e.g. teachers, co-workers, managers, customers, etc.), especially in areas you doubt your abilities or work that you are not sure is good enough. We are usually our own worst critics, which is not always a bad thing because it pushes us to be better. That said, getting feedback from others can help us recalibrate our personal criticism and focus on those areas of improvement.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?

Leadership has almost become a buzzword. When I was in high school and parts of college, I thought leadership meant being the president of a student organization or a CEO of a company. While individuals in those roles certainly exhibit leadership, there are many more components to leadership. For one, you can be a leader on the specific project you are working on or spearhead an improvement without holding a higher-level position. The one area of leadership I will focus on here is lifelong learning. Leadership is difficult because there are so many components to it, which can make it overwhelming to determine where to start. It is important to keep the long term in mind without getting lost in the short term. Translated, you will see exponential improvements in your leadership over the long-term if you make one small improvement every day as opposed to cramming learning in all at one time. Your career will be long, so creating the  habit of lifelong learning early in life will help you significantly throughout your career.

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