Leaders Own Their Mistakes

24 Aug 2021

Leaders Own Their Mistakes

We all make mistakes – so why do so many leaders (and many with a public profile) find it so hard to admit it? Leaders own their mistakes.

Admitting you made a mistake is not a sign of weakness – it is a sign of growth. You may have learnt more, understood more, realising your opinion didn’t consider a particular point of view. Why is that so hard to admit?

For many leaders, instead of ‘admitting a mistake, apologising and correcting the behaviour’, they follow one or more of the negative set of BLEED behaviours. Why ‘BLEED’ – because they suck the life out of a leaders and a team’s standing and credibility.

❌ Blame – it is not their fault, it is someone else’s
❌ Leniency – they go ‘soft’ on themselves or others for making mistakes
❌ Excuses – there is always a ‘reason’ why they made a mistake that couldn’t possibly be their own behaviour or opinion
❌ Exoneration – acknowledge that the mistake happened, but never admit fault and pretend that it had no impact
❌ Defence – won’t admit mistake – in fact, they ‘double down’ and try to make you wrong. Gaslighting 101

For leaders, the sentiment of the quote is far more effective:
🔹 Take ownership for your mistakes and if it is warranted, apologise
🔹 Take responsibility for the mistake, and correct the behaviour so that it doesn’t happen again.

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The AIR/BLEEDS Model for Personal Leadership

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