Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Apologizing for apologizing

I recently wrote a post where I bragged about a great leader of a company I know. He took the "fall" for a particular issue at his company and in so doing, showed leadership and inspired his people.

He later let me know that one of his execs saw the post and felt it was not a good reflection of their company because it implied that they had a problem. Without being asked, I deleted the post.


How do we show great leadership if we try to hide how we dealt with our challenges?

I still think that great leader is a fine person. I just wish that his company would allow his leadership to shine.


Barry LaBov, CEO
LaBov and Beyond


  1. I recall telling a client a few years ago that the advertising program that he did on our stations the previous 12 months was not designed for his type of business and that there was a better way. (I was not the salesperson who sold him, nor the manager at the time he signed up.) His response was, "So your company sold me something that was not the best for my needs? Why?" My response was that the previous salesperson and sales manager do not work for us anymore and I'm here to make sure we tailor an effective program that is designed for you.

    He has continued to work with us for the past 3 years after this frank discussion.

    Leaders need to take responsibility for good and bad and not just the credit for the successes in order to be trusted.

  2. We can all expect testimonials to be "positive", that's why they are not as powerful as they used to be... blogs are the new testimonials -- if we hide the bad, people won't believe them either. The funnel has been inverted - it's the customers megaphone, we better embrace it not fight it.

  3. Nobody expects perfection. When we own up to our shortcomings, it's seen as a strength. Good clients will accept our apology and gives us a chance.

    I just apologized to client for less than stellar performance. I could have avoided it or blamed them for their part in the situation. They rewarded us with more business.