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Entry from April 17, 2014
“Recognize it, admit it, learn from it, and forget it” (handling a mistake)

The syndicated “Ask Ann Landers” newspaper advice column ("Ann Landers” was then the pen name of Eppie Lederer) contained this advice in December 1957:

“A mistake can be valuable if you do four things with it.

(1) Recognize it.
(2) Admit it.
(3) Learn from it.
(4) Forget it.”

University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith has often used this and is often given credit for it, but he did not originate it. The saying has been used in sports and in business.

Wikipedia: Ask Ann Landers
Ann Landers was a pen name created by Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist Ruth Crowley in 1943 and taken over by Eppie Lederer in 1955. For 56 years, the Ask Ann Landers syndicated advice column was a regular feature in many newspapers across North America. Due to this popularity, ‘Ann Landers’, though fictional, became something of a national institution and cultural icon.

Wikipedia: Dean Smith
Dean Edwards Smith (born February 28, 1931) is a retired American head coach of men’s college basketball. Originally from Emporia, Kansas, Smith has been called a “coaching legend” by the Basketball Hall of Fame. Smith is best known for his successful 36-year coaching tenure at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smith coached from 1961 to 1997 and retired with 879 victories, which was the NCAA Division I men’s basketball record at that time.[a] Smith has the 9th highest winning percentage of any men’s college basketball coach (77.6%). During his tenure as head coach of North Carolina, the team won two national titles and appeared in 11 Final Fours.

31 December 1957, The Inter Lake (Kalispell, MT), “Ann Landers Answers Your Problems,” pg. 3, col. 6:
A mistake can be valuable if you do four things with it.

(1) Recognize it.
(2) Admit it.
(3) Learn from it.
(4) Forget it.

28 August 1960, Seattle (WA) Times, “Teen Scene: Youth Should Develop System of Values” by Kitte Turmell, Magazine, pg. 22, col. 1:
When you make a mistake admit it to yourself, then learn from it. Not before this will you be able to forgive yourself.

Google Books
Rise and Shout!
By Frank Arnold
Orem, UT: Generation Press
Pg. 100:
When a player made a mistake, Coach would suggest that a mistake could be beneficial if he would do four things with it: (I) recognize it, (2) admit it, (3) learn from it, and (4) forget it.

30 August 1992, Roswell (NM) Daily Record, “Chip SHots” by Ron Doan, pg. 13, col. 3:
A quote today from Paul “Bear” Bryant, a famous foot ball coach at the University of Alabama.

“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: one, admit it; two, learn from it and don’t repeat it.”

Google Books
Keeping Your Cool While Sharing Your Faith
By Greg Johnson and Susie Shellenberger
Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House
Pg. ?:
In chapter 38 we’re going to learn what to do when we make a mistake, But until we get there, here’s the short version: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, and forget it.

Google Books
A Coach’s Life
By Dean Smith with John Kilgo and Sally Jenkins
New York, NY: Random House
Pg. 130:
Without hesitation Matt shot back, “You recognize it, you admit it, you learn from it, and you forget it.”

Google Books
The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith
By David Chadwick
New York, NY: Total Sports Illustrated
Pg. 160:
Coach Smith went over to him and asked, “How do you handle mistakes in life?” Wenstrom quickly recited the thought for the day from the practice plan. “When faced with failure, recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it!”

Sport Quotes
What do you do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it. -Dean Smith
12:00 AM - 18 Apr 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Thursday, April 17, 2014 • Permalink

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