One of the changes in the air these days seems to be that people are taking responsibility for their screw-ups and apologizing. I’m not talking about apologies of the lame “mistakes were made” sort. Nope. These are people who probably don’t have to apologize publicly given their stature but who are doing so very openly and very clearly:
“We were in the middle of doing a lot of things, it kind of came down and, really, we didn’t vet it the way we usually do,” he said. “We just dropped the ball on it.” Instead of offering the exclusive collection to Wal-Mart, “given its labor history, it was something that if we’d thought about it a little longer, we’d have done something different.” He added, “It was a mistake. Our batting average is usually very good, but we missed that one. Fans will call you on that stuff, as it should be.”
That was The Boss. Here is a boss of a different sort:
“I’m frustrated with myself, with our team” he added, “and I’m here on television saying I screwed up and that’s part of the era of responsibility, is not never making mistakes; it’s owning up to them and trying to make sure you never repeat them and that’s what we intend to do.”
I can’t say it any better than The President.
How do you behave when you err? How do you react when someone else is honest enough to admit that they whiffed? It’s not enough to be willing to admit your mistakes. I think you have to accept that others will make them too and get past them together. If you’re a boss, that means setting that tone across the organization, as did the two bosses above.
Of course, I know this is easy for me to say since I never make any mistakes myself…