Ethics: Above the Waterline – Mistakes You Should Dare to Make

On a boat, there are two kinds of mistakes: above-the-waterline mistakes and below-the-water-line mistakes. You learn from the former; the latter sink the boat. Confusing the two can spell disaster; understanding the difference can mean innovation and growth — even in storm-tossed seas of change. This course offers a liberating approach to risk and reward that can help individuals and organizations deal with their toughest challenges.

Frank Ryan, CPA and Greg Conderacci are two of BLI’s most popular instructors. Both have survived many mistakes to lead successful careers in finance and marketing. Frank, a Marine combat veteran and former Congressional candidate, walked coast-to-coast to raise money for his favorite charity. Greg, an instructor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, is also an ultra-long-distance bicycle racer. This course is a follow-on to their team-taught “Extraordinary Endurance: Leadership Lessons from the Long Road.”

Learning Objectives

  • Learn to overcome the “fear of making mistakes” that is crippling your career or your organization :
  • Apply Motivation: Why we’re afraid to make a mistake
  • Participants will be able to:
  • Apply Critical thinking: What’s REALLY going on here?
  • Use Creativity: When a mistake isn’t an mistake
  • Gain Mutual support: Allowing for mistakes and forgiving when they occur
  • Enhance Communication: What we say — and don’t say — matters a lot
  • Recognize Perverse incentives: are you encouraging the fear of failure that will cause you to fail?

Major Topics

  • Illegal, immoral, unethical and fattening: mistakes you should NOT make
  • Give it a try: mistakes you should make
  • “It scares me to death, but…”: mistakes you HAVE to make
  • Suck it up: empowering people to risks…successfully
  • The best mistakes in the history of the world…
  • …And the worst

Who Should Attend

Anybody, but especially leaders, facing difficult challenges, changes or crises

Fields of Study

Behavioral Ethics




Business Learning Institute

CPE Credits




This course is available for your group as:


Let's Roll!

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Or, contact BLI: 888-481-3500 or
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