How Admitting Mistakes Shows Strong Leadership

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Ok, I admit it! I do make mistakes.

OK.  This one takes the proverbial cake.  There are a lot of mistakes to be made in life but I’m not sure how you really do this.  A 26-year-old Connecticut man was charged with disorderly conduct after he entered a neighbor’s home, stripped off his cloths and fell asleep in a 6-year-old’s bed.  The man was arrested after the child (who was sleeping in his own bed) woke his parents in the middle of the night to inform them that a stranger was asleep in his bed! When officers arrived, the residents were screaming for help from a second-floor window. Now, the crazy part: The man admitted to drinking earlier that night but vehemently denied to the police that he was in the wrong house!   He insisted he was in his own home. Wow.  He’s a confused man.  Perhaps stubborn is the better word. Intoxicated may be the best word. 

Some of us won’t admit it when we are wrong, regardless the evidence that is mounted against us.  (I wonder how he explained the family portrait of the neighbor’s family on the wall in “his” home that night!)  How about you on the job?  How do you handle being wrong?  When you goof up, blow the deal, create a mess, send out the wrong list, offend the client and lose his business, etc., do you deny wrong-doing on your part?  Do you try to slough it off as if it is nothing?  Do you blame it on someone else?  Those in positions of workplace authority often find it especially difficult to humble themselves before their “underlings” and admit that “I blew it!”  “Yes, I am gulity…I am standing in the wrong house after all!!”  The common fear is that such an admission “makes me look bad.”  The only thing that really makes any of us look bad is when we won’t admit our mistakes and shortcomings (or sins), especially when the flub is painfully obvious to everyone else.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone spills the milk eventually.  It’s just a part of life that we live with.  The unnatural (and unattractive part to our co-workers) is our attempt to cover it up or act as if we are not responsible.  (For the ultimate in “it wasn’t my fault” read the article at bottom of the column today…you won’t believe it!)

Admit it! 

Go ahead and say you were wrong, that it was your error.  Everyone else at work can see it so no use trying to cover it up.  Take the blame.  The truth is, personal admission of error is a sign of spiritual maturity and strength.  The people you love and admire the most in the Lord are those who willingly and humbly admit it when they have made a mistake or done something wrong!

Resolve now that you are going to take ownership of the workplace fiascoes that you create!  Do so and you’ll not only be known as a credible person but people will actually believe you when you really weren’t responsible for the mess or crisis!  Be appreciated for being real and transparent and you may even find help cleaning up your mess.  Let’s have a great day at work and admit our wrongs.  And may each of us exercise great grace toward each other, too.

God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  (James 4:6)  By the way, if you see a typo in this article it isn’t my fault!  My spell-checker is not always reliable!!  Ha!

This is a relevant story and so worth the 30 seconds it will take to read: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma , purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home from an OU football game, having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich!!  Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned.  Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. (It was their fault, not hers!)  The Oklahoma jury awarded her $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

David Cox

Who is David Cox?

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