Being a Leader Means Saying You’re Sorry

Originally published on Facebook June 20, 2019.

So, what’s the most important attribute of leadership? What’s the most important skill to learn as a leader?

I think it’s the ability to apologize. When you’re a leader of people, and you make a mistake, or mess up, or snap back at someone needlessly, if you want to have any chance of recovering your relationship with the people you lead, you absolutely must be able to offer a genuine, meaningful apology.

It’s not enough to feel bad. It’s not enough to vow, privately, to be or do better. You need to make them know it and feel it in their hearts.

To me, if you can’t do this, you’re not actually leading people — you’re simply telling them what to do.