Loving Others

Leadership is the process of doing things with and through other people. But how can you ensure you’re the most effective leader you can be? Over the next two weeks, I will ask you two simple questions that will require you to reflect on your leadership. 

This week’s question is:

Do you love others enough to admit when you are wrong? 

Think about it this way: when was the last time you… 

  • Confessed a wrongdoing to a team member? 
  • Admitted you were wrong to your spouse? 
  • Told one of your children you had made a mistake?
  • Apologized to a friend because of an error you made or a misunderstanding you caused? 

The Remarkableness of Owning Up to Our Mistakes

I recently browsed through social media and found a remarkable post from a politician. It read: 

The other day, I voiced my strong belief about one of the day’s prevailing issues — you can YouTube the talk to see exactly what I am referring to. Unfortunately, I used divisive rhetoric. Instead of sticking to the issue at hand, I insulted a few opposing party members. I was absolutely wrong in doing so. I apologize for this. In the future, I will stick to the issue and not criticize others personally.

Do you know who said this? 

Neither do I because I just made it up. 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if a politician did this? You might not even agree with their stance on whatever the “prevailing” issue of the day is, but you would at least respect them. More to the point, you would sense that they (actually) do care for people, rather than just giving them lip service. 

Why “Loving” Leaders Admit Fault

Let’s stop picking on politicians and personalize this: 

  • Are we the kind of people that admit when we are wrong? 
  • Am I the kind of person that admits when I am wrong? 

I’d like to suggest that when we are loving, we are willing to admit that we’re wrong. And here’s what I mean: Loving is an action. It says, “I care for you so much that I am going to admit that I am wrong, even when I do not feel like doing so.” 

When I’m loving, I’m driven to:

  • Apologize to my executive admin when my tone is too direct — something I just did before writing this post! 
  • Admit to our sales leader that my idea isn’t the best one. 
  • Apologize to Sarah when I come home grumpy and bring the whole house’s energy down to my negative level. Ugh! 
  • Apologize to my kids when my tone is too aggressive, when I say a bad word while watching a football game, or any other foolish thing I do. 

It May Not Be the Easy Thing, But It’s the Loving Thing

When do I feel like apologizing? 

I hate to confess this, but mostly never. 

But I do it because it is the loving thing to do. 

Do you love others enough to admit when you are wrong? 

My hunch is that our society would be better if more of us did this. 

I guarantee you will be worth following when you do. 

I can say this with confidence because I will follow your lead!