Recently, a top leader told hundreds in the audience, “We need to correct course. I made a decision on a strategy last year and it has alienated some of you. That wasn’t my intention. I take full responsibility and apologize.”
The person sitting next me inspired the title of this blog when he said, “That bailout was nicely done.”
The US government has confessed that the economy is screwed up. Time is so short, that rather than take the typical route of finding blame and scapegoats, they agree that a corrective course of action is needed immediately.
Here’s the elephant in the office: Do you work with someone who has made a mistake, but refuses to accept responsibility for it? Consequently, they carry around a “fog of disillusionment” that repels even innocent bystanders. It takes a gas mask to have a meeting with such people!
Remarkably, it takes one simple act to clear the air – and get back to work.
STOMP THE ELEPHANT
Making an apology (taking responsibility) is a powerful leadership act. And while it’s easy to identify those people we work with who have the “fog of disillusionment” around them, consider that you, too, have such a challenge.
Are you ready to conduct your own bailout? With whom do you have a troubled relationship? It may be time to say, “I apologize. I take responsibility.” (If your ego has a grip on you, you can add, “I apologize for my part.”) And of course, it’s illegal to add “but you need to take responsibility too.”
Bailouts save sinking ships. And they immediately put relationships on a course to greater productivity.
Bailouts are in vogue. Why not conduct your own?
Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?