Should Leaders Admit Their Mistakes and Weaknesses
Everyone has weak or sore points that can break down their spirit when the going gets tough. A leader is no different from his fellow beings. He is as prone to mistakes and weaknesses as others. The question is whether a leader should admit his blunders and flaws?
A true leader is one who is humble enough to admit their mistakes.
The question is whether a leader should admit his blunders and flaws?No man is perfect. It is human to err. And, everyone has weak or sore points that can break down their spirit when the going gets tough. A leader is no different from his fellow beings. He is as prone to mistakes and weaknesses as others.
If he does, then it is highly likely that his image as a model leader may get tarnished. His followers may not trust him any longer and may doubt his abilities to lead suitably in the right direction. But, the truth is, if a leader admits his mistakes or weaknesses, it only makes him more human in the eyes of people who look up to him.
When Tim Cook, the present CEO of Apple Inc., introduced iOS 6 maps, the product was a huge failure. It was not tested properly and it was full of bugs. As the company head, Tim was expected to monitor the new product launch closely. The true leader, he is, Tim was not only quick to admit his mistake but also took the disaster in his stride and moved on to create the improved version of the product.
A leader should not feel embarrassed to confess his erroneous judgements. Similarly, saying ‘I am sorry’ does not make him feeble. When he apologises, it earns him more respect. It shows that he is too prone to vulnerabilities, and will be equally accepting of the mistakes of his people.
Similarly, a leader should not be shy of admitting his weak areas. Let’s take a simple example. A manager is entrusted by his boss to make a presentation on company’s financials. But, this manager is not great with Power Point or Excel menus. Instead of trying to figure it out himself and wasting hours, he simply discloses his lack of knowledge to his team member and seeks his help to complete the presentation. At the same time, he doesn’t forget to share the credit of the presentation with his team member in front of his boss. His acceptance of his weakness is a sign of humility that every leader needs to demonstrate.
A leader who isn’t afraid to come clean of his mistakes and weaknesses is also an exemplary case in point to show that he always thinks good of others before his personal self. For the greater good of the organisation or society, he is willing to forego his ego, even if his status quo stands threatened.
However, the leader would not be expected to rest after admitting the wrong. He should learn from mistakes and come over his personal limitations to lead with confidence and credibility.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Amit Dua who is Co-Founder and CEO at Signity Solutions and ValueAppz