Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Never Admit You're Wrong

What is it about modern society that we are so loathe to accept responsibility and do the right thing? Are we afraid that someone will exploit our weakeness? Or is it that we just don't have the backbone to face the truth?
I think it's something else: the difference between management and leadership. Management is in constant crisis mode, always trying to weather the storm, and manipulate clients and workers with a constant barrage of spin. Mangers tell the customer not to worry, the matter will be taken care of. The same managers try to blame someone else for the problem. If they get caught out, they pretend they know nothing about the problem.
Denial never convinced anyone. Even the "plausible deniability" theory surrounding the White House doesn't convince anyone any more. Why should it work with anyone else either?
Leaders, on the other hand, welcome bad news and turn it into an opportunity for success. They face it head on, analyse the problem, and think of creative solutions. As a result, they earn the respect and trust of their clients, and sometimes even their employees.
Certainly, the employees need to trust the leader in order to know that they can report bad news without risking their jobs. If they are encouraged to take problems to the leader, as well as providing solutions if possible, they grow as leaders too. The clever leader knows this.
Lawyers, on the other hand, can never be leaders because they have to represent the lies of their clients. When was the last time you heard a lawyer say, "I can't write that in a letter because it's not true"?

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