mirrorA shame the movie “The Last Word” didn’t get better reviews. Shirley MacLaine nails a forced-retired hard-driving successful character (and I mean a real mean character!) whose life has been family-less and friend-less. No doubt she alienated a lot of people in her drive to the top of her own firm, only to be ejected.

But in her soul-searching and her retrospect on her later life, she makes revelations and reforms.

One memorable quote she provides is:

“You don’t make mistakes. Mistakes make you.”

OK, I liked that play on words.

But it goes further. She is the sum total of her life experience and skills learned the hard way. She tells her story slowly to a reporter tasked with writing her obituary before she dies, sort of a LinkedIn profile: written to capsulize a full business life with rich experience, useful skills and some appropriate endorsements (wait till the end of the film) in sum, observations on what she learned in her journey, freely provided to benefit her 2 younger companions and other industry colleagues.

A business life full of mistakes which made her.

Think about how you come across on LinkedIn.

Are you showing that you are learning every step, each job, project, and are you articulating this wisdom as you progress? Are you better off having tried new things, sometimes stumbling, but always learning from your missteps?

Don’t wait too long, until the end as Shirley MacLaine’s character did. Now is a good time.