128: The Anatomy of an Apology



Leaders take a lot of risks, and sometimes those risks lead to mistakes. If you re a good leader, you take the time to apologize for those mistakes. If you re a bad leader…well, you get the picture. On today s episode, our host, Jeff Henderson, is joined with our mentors, Kevin Jennings and David Farmer, to talk about the anatomy of an apology and how, if done correctly, apologizing can communicate humility, vulnerability, and enrich the culture of your team.

Welcome to episode 128 of the Executive Minds Podcast.

Links + Resources:

099: MADE SOUTH S Chris Thomas on Pivoting: How to Know When to Shift Your Business Model

021: Launchers Are Listeners

The 5 Whys technique by Sakichi Toyoda

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Three Takeaways:

  • Authentic leadership starts with an apology. As a leader, you re bound to make mistakes along the way. Stop and apologize for those mistakes. When you apologize, you re not only building a strong team culture, but you re also setting the tone for the team. A tone that says you re not perfect, you make mistakes, and you re aware enough to know that and that it s OK for others to make mistakes, too.
  • Explanations undermine your apology. If you follow up an apology with an explanation about why you made the mistake, it negates the entire apology. Don t do that. Apologize and then listen quietly. Anything else you say at this time could be viewed as an excuse. There will (hopefully) be another time when you can explain your actions.
  • Check your pride. If you find you re constantly hesitant to apologize, your pride may be at play (and we all know what happens when we let pride take the lead). Owning your need to apologize for a wrongdoing communicates vulnerability and humility. If you get into the habit of avoiding saying sorry, your team and business will suffer, leading to higher turnover rates and a loss of trust in your leadership.

Thank you for listening to the Executive Minds Podcast! If you have a question that you want to be answered on the podcast ask us here!