Apologizing For Other People’s Mistakes

Great leaders publicly take responsibility for failures within their organization. They should, after all – a mistake slipped through the cracks of a structure that they were responsible for building, sealing and fortifying. While an architect or carpenter actually built the castle, it came from an idea or plan the king or queen envisioned. Many failures in construction stem from failures in design. Brick and mortar analogy aside, leaders may not directly cause mistakes – but they are accountable. Even with a perfect plan or structure in place, failure within remains a failure within. Something could have been done by someone to prevent it. Most people cannot handle or admit to their own mistakes. But someone needs to. Someone needs to flag a mistake and help everyone learn from it. Not by blame or pointing fingers, but by throwing themselves under a bus to show everyone that humility can solve problems and teach lessons. Those of us who know we actually made the mistake will walk out the door with a shred of guilt and a valuable learning experience.

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Get Out of There

In a meeting you have no stake in? A social setting you cannot connect with? Around people you do not relate to? In a place that disagrees with your lifestyle? A job that fails to inspire you? Then get the hell out of there. Don’t waste time. Time is money (and more valuable than money). Walk out. Pack your bags. Just go. You have an important family obligation. Impending deadline. Death on the horizon. Get out. Move on. Be as polite as possible, but leave. Think of the things you could be doing instead – and go do them. The impact you can make on the world and your own life while doing those other things far outweighs the egos you rub sitting still. Looking back, those offended meeting attendees will understand and forgive you for it.