The unforgivable sin – guessing with certainty

6 12 2016

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” ~ Bruce Lee

“The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

All of the leaders on my team know that the one unforgivable sin they can commit is to represent something as truth to me, when they’re guessing.  If I take your “truth” up the chain of command, and get called out for being wrong on it,  we will indeed have a conversation that you will not forget.  Now, if you tell me you are 99% sure of something, or that you’re “almost certain” of something, then I will represent it that way up-hill, and it gives both you and me a way to save face when we are wrong.

There’s no shame in being wrong, but the only way to be forgiven for being wrong is to admit to it, tell what you learned from it, and to internalize the lesson so that it doesn’t happen again.

Speaking of forgiveness…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.


Forgive and Forget (or should you?)

12 09 2013

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive, but do not forget.” ~Thomas Szasz

 The same can be said of managers, especially around things like Corrective Action/write-ups.  It’s OK for an employee to make a mistake if you have the conversation and document it.  You don’t need to continue to beat them up about it, but also don’t forget that it happened (i.e. documentation).  Otherwise, for those that can’t be “managed up”, when you’re finally fed-up, and ready to manage them out, you don’t have a paper trail, and you’re stuck now documenting repeated offenses, with a miserable employee, and an unhappy manager. 

Bad news doesn’t get better with age.  Be sure to document issues, with the hope of managing your staff up, instead of out.  But have a plan B. 

 Speaking of Naïve…



Rubes cartoons used with permission.