West Point Graduate Becky Margiotta Thought She Would Get an A for Effort Instead of Managing Outcomes

West Point Graduate Becky Margiotta Thought She Would Get an A for Effort Instead of Managing Outcomes


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #179 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Becky Margiotta. She is the author of the book, Impact with Integrity: Repairing the World Without Breaking Yourself, a cofounder and owner of The Billions Institute, LLC, and the host of the Unleashing Social Change Podcast.

In this episode, Becky tells her favorite mistake story about thinking she would get an “A” for effort when working toward a bold goal of getting 100,000 homeless people into homes. Why did she “lose track of the outcomes” and how did she adjust and get back on track?

We also talk about questions and topics including:

  • What was the approach for reducing homelessness?
  • Looking at measures more continuously along the way
  • 100,00 lives campaign connection through IHI
  • “Here’s what you’re doing wrong…” actually better ways to say it?
  • Story about how people don’t want the answer…
  • Leadership lessons from the Army and Special Operations that are transferrable? 
  • Outcomes focus? Commander’s intent? (McChrystal book)
  • “Mission first, troops always”
  • “First woman to command special operations…”
  • Tell us about the Unleashing Social Change podcast

Scroll down to find:

  • Video of the episode
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

Find Becky and her organization on social media:

Watch the Full Episode:


"If people dismiss it as impossible, you don't have that wind in your sails. I love zero stuff." (goals of "zero")
"This is where I learned...I should have learned that lesson the other time. So sometimes we have to learn lessons twice."
"The right answer... was 'mission first, troops always.' And they're competing, sometimes there's tradeoffs in those, but I think an enduring commitment to 'mission first, troops always' is so transferable to the civilian sector."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's upcoming book is The Mistakes That Make Us. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.