I was 7 years old and kicking a ball in the playground at primary school in Dodford. I wasn’t much of a footballer but I was going to give it my all; I connected. The ball flew from my foot straight towards the school and – smash! – straight through the window. Without thinking, or even speaking to my little friends, I knew what to do. I ran straight around the school to the front door where I was met by an angry teacher expecting to have to line us all up to find out who the culprit was; not expecting anyone to be taking responsibility.
No need. It was me. I put my hands up. It’s a fair cop guv.
I learnt something that day; take responsibility for when you make mistakes or get stuff wrong, put your hands up, it will usually be okay. And, even if it’s not, people will respect you for your honesty and your character.
We do not see much of that these days. It starts from the top down, on boards and in government, and spreads from the bottom up. People love to hide, people love to blame, people love to duck and dive, bob and weave; anything to avoid putting their hands up, taking responsibility and saying they are sorry. We have all experienced mistakes from companies that we are dealing with, how many gave you a genuine heartfelt “sorry”? Not many is my guess.
Over the years, I have got things wrong for clients. Not often but sometimes. There is always that moment when your heart is in your mouth, you can feel it beating, and you know you have screwed up. Consciously and/or unconsciously your brain runs through all of the possible negative outcomes… lost client, lost reputation, lost commission, losing your job etc. It’s not nice.
But it rarely happens. Put your hands up and apologise and clients respect the fact that you did and said what many would not. Everyone makes mistakes but not everyone owns up to them. Why not try it next time you make a mistake?
If you want to be more successful and take more responsibility, the first thing you need is someone who will hold you to the straight and narrow. I might never meet you at one of my seminars or talks, and I may never be your coach, but I can give you a regular, motivational kick up the rear through my success newsletter. Go on, join now, you know it makes sense :-).