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Randy Speck

Superintendent , Madison District Public Schools

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Why is it sometimes difficult to admit mistakes and say "I'm sorry"?

Admitting a mistake and then taking responsibility for it is not always easy and is sometimes not found in leadership. Why is that?


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  • Feb 29 2012: Admitting mistakes and taking ownership for them, as well as saying sorry is no easy task. Sorry serves an interesting purpose as it makes the individual that is giving the apology feel vulnerable. I think that we tend to over analyze situations like a chess game before we approach an individual to say sorry. Our minds become filled with the many different scenarios that could play out between us and the other individual after we utter the words "I'm Sorry." We wonder whether they will accept our apology completely, give us the cold shoulder, or make us feel insecure in some other way. As a result, I think we tend to find comfort in rationalizing, as well as justifying our mistakes. It's unfortunate that this occurs often in positions of leadership, but I think that has to do with the fact that a leader of a team, business, etc..often holds the mentality that feeling the vulnerability that comes from saying sorry is a sign of weakness

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