Lead by example
You can never expect your team to come clean when they blow it, if you don’t do the same. Almost every self-help book about leadership includes room for the mea culpa. It’s a truth that when you make mistakes you learn and improve and once you own it the mistake is over. More importantly, it shows your staff the way professionals behave and models to them they can make them too.
Jim Whitehurst, the former CEO of Red Hat, tells a story in the Harvard Business Review about his own experience in making a fatal error on a major software rollout. He owned the mistake with his entire company. He was able to overcome it because he stood up. His team rallied around him, respected the truth and they overcame the problem together.
Your team will know that even if your decision was wrong that you were there to make and forgive you. This coupled with teaching them they are safe to make their own mistakes, make impossible to deny. Admitting when you’re wrong is the best and easiest course.
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