Three Blunders Every Leader Must Avoid
By Tom Borg © All Rights Reserved
One of the best ways for a CEO, president, business owner or leader to earn employee mistrust is to continually make any or all of the following three blunders.
- Don’t admit when they make a mistake.
- Don’t apologize when they have offended someone.
- Don’t answer an employee’s request for clarification or more information.
I can’t tell you how often I have personally observed people in leadership positions commit these errors. The unfortunate part about this quandary is that they are digging a deeper ditch, making it all the more difficult to crawl out of.
Let’s look at the first one in this blog. The next two will be discussed in the following blogs.
Blunder #1: Leaders who don’t admit when they make a mistake
This is an easy faux pas to commit because many times the person making the mistake doesn’t realize he or she has committed it. Like a major league baseball umpire who misses a call, he doesn’t realize it, but the 30 thousand fans know it. When it is confirmed on the huge scoreboard, it becomes clear as day for everyone to see.
Fortunately, Major League Baseball (MLB) now allows the instant replay review to allow league officials to review certain types of plays in order to determine the accuracy of the initial call of the umpires on the field.
What about you in your company or organization? Do you have a system to reverse bad choices, or mistakes you or your leadership team have committed? If you don’t, you may want to institute one. Why? Because when you make a mistake and don’t admit and correct it, you are building a case for mistrust.
You and I are the same way. When someone we know makes a blatant mistake and refuses to acknowledge it, we start to mistrust the person. Our rationale is if they can’t see the truth, how can they be trusted to speak the truth in other similar situations?
The solution is a simple one. As Dale Carnegie once said, “If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.” You can’t go wrong by following this recommendation.
There is one more point to make, as Carnegie suggests: admit it as soon as possible. The longer you wait the less it means when you finally admit it.
In my next blog we will examine Blunder #2.