Leaders Can Be Wrong and Still Be Right

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People spend much of their time trying to be right and working to avoid being wrong at all costs. While this may be ok in some instances, leadership is not one of them. As early as our childhood, we learn that getting in trouble or doing things wrong is not acceptable. In business and leadership, we should switch our thought process and even embrace and grow from being wrong and accepting the blame when it applies to our situation.

If your team sees you as someone who is constantly right, then you may appear to be a know-it-all. Most likely, this is not pleasant for those around you and doesn’t help you with your leadership role either. Accepting the fact that you are just plain wrong at times will help you improve and allow others around you to see you as both more human and approachable. Try the following:

1. Embrace Mistakes
If you never make a mistake, then you are not taking enough risks. How will you grow as a leader if you never mess up? You can be wrong and still do well overall. If you want to grow personally, then you must be willing to fail and do it gracefully.

When you make a mistake and let your team see you handle it well, then you build trust and buy-in amongst your staff. It is much harder to be transparent and people will respect that effort as you own up to a mistake or flaw of some kind. Embracing mistakes will enable you to be seen as real, approachable, and respected.

2. Focus on improvement
Your goal should be to constantly improve. If you can’t accept that you have areas where you need to grow, then improvement will be tough. As a leader, your team will follow suit as you seek to change, develop, and try new things. Working as an entire group, you can accomplish much more than on your own.

3. Cultivate strong team members
Work to grow your team’s strength. These individuals will, in turn, help you as a leader to become stronger with the goal to constantly improve. Be sure that everyone knows to avoid the blame game and set everyone up to grow and learn from each other instead. Accept being wrong and your team will too. Everyone acknowledging a flaw, mistake, or issue will enable people to feel “human” and it will foster growth rather than squelch it.

Leaders can be wrong and still be right. Seriously? Yes, by accepting that you are wrong from time to time, you will actually be doing things just right. Your team will appreciate your transparency and you will be on the path of continued growth.

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