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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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  • Mar 7 2012: Pride. Guilt. Shame.

    Pride. Nobody wants to lose their dignity even though they don't really lose it. They fear the feeling of proving they're wrong because of the feeling that they get diminished.

    Guilt. I'd like to believe people are good and so the idea that they have wronged someone makes them feel bad-- bad enough to try to avoid the person and not apologize. It's very counter-productive but I guess sometimes it just works that way.

    Shame. Because people are somehow innately guided towards that self-survival instinct of theirs they refuse to display their vulnerability which shame brings.

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