7 Insights Toward an Apology that will Heal the Wound, Not Infect It

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Written by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg, this article originally appeared in Forbes.com June 26, 2018.

In an age of transparency and authenticity, we don’t expect our leaders to be perfect, we expect them to be real. No CEO can know it all, be it all or do it all. And, no leader is immune from making mistakes. In fact, truly great leaders become more human and more approachable in the eyes of employees when they own their shortcomings. Admitting a mistake and apologizing for it is a sign of strength and courage. Unfortunately, some leaders see “owning it” as a weakness that undermines their executive gravitas.

Yet, when leaders admit their mistakes it sends a message to the rest of the organization: “It’s okay to take initiative, be decisive, take risks and fail. If we are going to be agile, adaptive and accelerate innovation, we’re going to make mistakes.”

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