Tag Archives: role model

Who Else Dares to Apologize?

When I read the “The Heart of Business Strategy: 56* Things That Matter” by Tom Peters, one of the strategies which caught my attention is “Apologize. Even if “they” are “mostly” to blame.”

Apologizing is one of the hardest things for us to do because it means the swallowing of our pride. It means that we have to take the risk of being accepted indifferently, coldly and  in an absolute hostile way. Sometimes, we worry of what others may think of us when we apologize.

One night, I received a call from a peer, his voice was somewhat upset, asking why his name was deleted from the salary payroll.  Early next morning, I called the supervisor concerned who was surprised why the matter was brought to my attention, as an agreement to address the concern has already been made the other day between her and my peer’s wife.  I expected an apology from my peer but nothing came. So, I just understood his side and forgot about the incident.

Tom Peters says: “I regard apologizing as the most magical, healing, restorative gesture human beings can make. It is the centerpiece of my work with executives who want to get better.”—Marshall Goldsmith. Strong language from the master of executive communications. Apologize if you are 10% to blame. Apologize especially if it hurts, if the person you’re apologizing to is an “enemy.” Measure it: set time aside weekly for “three-minute calls,” mostly to apologize: I contend that for every ruptured relationship there was a time when a “mere” three-minute call would have gone a long way toward turning things around.”

In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey suggests these words to apologize sincerely:

“I was wrong.”

“That was unkind of me.”

“I showed you no respect.”

“I gave no dignity, and I’m deeply sorry.”

“I embarrassed you in front of your friends and I had no call to do that.  Even though I wanted to make a point, I never should have done it. I apologize.”

In reality, apologizing quickly is not an easy task.  It needs a lot of timing, humility, courage and internal security.

Who else dares to apologize?

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

The Ability to Persuade

An incident happened at office yesterday.  A manager recommended a reassignment of an employee and his supervisor opposed to the idea.  An argument took place which resulted to bullying by the manager.  The supervisor, in turn, bursted in tears.

Incidents like this really happen in the office, at home or anywhere. How could the leader influence others to do or follow what he wants them to do?

First, the leader must connect with the people he leads.  The leader must love his people.  If he has a stained relationship with the one he leads, influence would be difficult.  If he shows love and care for his people, anything he does or presents would be easily accepted by them.

Second, the leader must not only possess the abilities and skills of a leader but he must also be a H.O.T. one. H.O.T. which means hands-on and transactional is coined from the term used in the book of Bruce Tulgan.  As a hands-on leader, he spends lots of time with employees spelling out expectations and clarifying standards.

Third, the leader is a role model to his people.  He walks the talk.  He has integrity, his words and actions match.  He is honest and trustworthy.

Fourth, the leader is a good communicator. He must be able to communicate to his people the reasons and the rationale behind his decisions and requests, presenting the needed data, if possible. In doing this, he must also maintain a genuine respect for others’ ideas and perspectives.  If we show willingness to listen to our people first, it will be easy for us to influence them to agree to our opinions and decisions.

According to Dr. Blaine Lee of the Power Principle, these are the words we say to ourselves to check for persuasion:

Have I told them why?

Do they understand why?

Have I tried to help them understand why?

Would it help if they understood why?

Would I like them to understand why?

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner in their book, The Leadership Challenge, said that when getting extraordinary things done in organization, leaders engage in these Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:

  • Model the Way  – Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that wins your respect.  Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others. Leaders model the way. To model the way, a leader must have integrity, that is, his words and deeds match up.

Modeling the way is about earning the right and the respect to lead through direct involvement and action.

People follow first the person, then the plan.

John Maxwell said that leaders add infinite weight to their words by incarnating the principles they teach.

  • Inspire a Shared Vision – People always have a dream or a vision of an exciting and highly attractive future for their organization. The dream or vision is the force that invents the future.  Leaders inspire a shared vision.

  • Challenge the Process – Leaders face the challenge of changing from the status quo.  All leaders challenge the process.  They search for opportunities to innovate, grow and improve. They know well that innovation and change involve experimenting and taking risks.  Despite the inevitability of mistakes and failures leaders proceed anyway.
  • Enable Others to Act – To turn dream or vision into significant reality, it requires team effort, solid trust and relationship.  It requires deep competence and cool confidence.  It requires group collaboration and individual accountability.  Leaders have to enable others to act.

In today’s virtual organizations, cooperation can’t be restricted to a small group of loyalists; it  must include peers, managers, customers and clients, suppliers, citizens – all those who have a stake in the vision.

  • Encourage the Heart – The climb to the top is arduous and long which make people exhausted, frustrated and disenchanted.  They’re often tempted to give up.  Leaders encourage the heart of their constituents to carry on.  Genuine acts of caring uplift the spirits and draw people forward.

Many of today’s leaders fail to turn their vision into reality because they do not act as role models to their employees.  By not modeling the behavior they expect from their people, leaders could not influence their people to perform what are required from them.