On a day when our Prime Minister has said sorry, it got us thinking about what it is to apologise as a leader. As leaders we have big decisions to make, big responsibilities, and a workforce looking to us for guidance. But we are still human. We misjudge situations, make mistakes and we may not always have the answer. The very nature of leadership is dealing with uncertainty, so how can we be certain we’ll always pick the right approach?
Admitting to a mistake or misjudgment and admitting we don’t know the answer is probably one of the hardest things we can do as a leader, but it’s also one of the most important. Because admitting it demonstrates a willingness to learn, develop and change. It also sets a positive example to the workforce, that admitting to mistakes shows greatness, not weakness. And repeatedly covering up mistakes or covering gaps in knowledge will ultimately end in mistrust.
We’ve pulled together a few things you can do if this is resonating with you:
- Speak to a trusted colleague – whether that’s internal or external it always helps to talk it through
- Speak to a coach – if you don’t feel ready to speak to anyone known to you, get professional, impartial advice on the best way to approach a difficult situation
- Join a network – there are some brilliant networks out there for leaders, some sector specific or for specifically for CEOs and Directors, allowing you to speak openly with peers in a protected forum
- Undertake some training – have you invested in your own professional development recently?
Whatever you chose to do, never be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m sorry’ – you never know what you might learn by being open!
Are you a leader with something weighing you down? Get in touch to see how we can help lighten the load.