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Admitting my own mistakes

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In the nineties, there was a phrase that surfaced in pop culture and was made famous by athletes – “my bad.” Those two little words represented a shift away from a timeless tradition in the human race – passing the buck. Instead of shirking responsibility, people started saying, “My bad” when it…
By Seth Barnes

In the nineties, there was a phrase that surfaced in pop culture and was made famous by athletes – “my bad.”

Those two little words represented a shift away from a timeless tradition in the human race – passing the buck. Instead of shirking responsibility, people started saying, “My bad” when it really was their fault.

I’ve made my share of mistakes, things that I’d rather sweep under the rug. But I’ve come to realize how important it is to admit them. My weaknesses and my failures make me human. They make approachable. So, I’ve quit hiding so much.

We need this in our culture. We need to learn how to accept responsibility. When we do this and quit making excuses, it takes the tools of the Enemy out of his hands. Instead of arguing for the right to be right, we can go low and maybe even save a relationship.

This is a no-brainer in a lot of the business world. People don’t get ahead by blaming other people; they get ahead by working harder and accepting responsibility when others are too afraid to stand up for something.

Robert Bruner, Dean of Darden School of Business where I got my MBA, writes in his blog:

“The secret to persistence is the capacity to own one’s mistakes. It is exam time at Darden. Mistakes will be made. Students can freeze at this thought. But the advice of Wynton Marsalis is apt: ‘Hit it again’–accept the possibility of mistakes and the opportunity to learn from them. Then move on and grow in wisdom.”

We started ingraining this into our AIM leaders recently, and it’s been the difference between a ministry leader who is a tyrant and one who is a servant.

If you’re a leader, I highly recommend that you model this for those under your influence. This practice of accepting responsibility and owning one’s mistakes can transform an organization, church, or business.

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