Should The Leader Apologize More Often?

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Years ago, when I started back in the business, after 7 years of living and working in Europe, my father gave me some prophetic advice, “you will need to be prepared to apologize….often.”

I wasn’t quite sure what he meant…

Was he giving me personal feedback? Or general sound advice?

His words stuck with me, and I have seen them play out over and over.

Recently, I read about the NY Yankees manager (Aaron Boone) making a personal apology for the reason his team lost. It’s uncommon in the driven world of professional sports to show weakness, but in fact it showed his strength of character.

He was modeling the personal accountability he wanted from his team members.

This year I read the book Extreme Ownership (along with my peer group clients—we read four books a year.) The premise is to take full responsibility for what goes askew by you, by your direct reports and team, and even by your bosses.

When you take personal responsibility for what happens around you, you have the best chance of steering towards success…both in business and in personal affairs.

Mea Culpa (Latin for “through my fault”)

I recently counseled a client that he should apologize to his team for a bad hire. Mea Culpa. He hired—and fired—a poor performer that impacted everyone’s bonus. They knew he made a mistake.

He needed to clear the air and set the team back on a winning path.

Your Personal Challenge: Would you like your team to perform better? If so, be cognizant of where you might be shifting blame, or where you can personally perform better.

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