To Err is Human

An all too familiar scene: A leader makes an obvious mistake, then instead of apologizing, compounds the mistake with embarrassing head fakes and self-righteous rationalizing. Dean Smith offered sage advice for those unapologetic leaders: “What to do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.”

Never were truer words spoken, yet our leaders frequently act as if the words do not apply to them. Unrepentant leaders, consequently, lose the credibility to move us forward. Lies, deception and cover-ups distract from making progress. ‘Too big to admit failure’ leaders dig irreparable holes for themselves and their constituents.

“To err is human, to forgive divine” (Alexander Pope) frames Dean Smith’s aforementioned quote into a perfect path to possible redemption for the errant leader. When will she open to door to forgiveness?

Randy Bright



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