My husband and I talk about this a lot, as we watch the daily news. People are always trying to wiggle out of responsibility for the mistakes they’ve made, the people they’ve injured, the messes that others have to clean up.
Whatever happened to “I’m Sorry?” Whatever happened to “It’s my fault?” Whatever happened to “I made a mistake, I will fix it?”
This post from Sarah Andrus says it clearly and concisely. When we make a mistake, we must own it and make reparations. Her post talks about individuals, but it’s equally true of organizations. “My Bad…” or How to Handle Mistakes With Grace
This is where a culture of ethics and accountability can make all the difference. If your organization has a culture in which individuals – both board and staff – are known to take responsibility for mistakes and are not unduly punished for them, then each person can feel more comfortable owning his or her mistakes. Honesty and integrity become the hallmarks for which you are known. The receptionist can feel proud of working for you, the donor can be proud of supporting you, your community will offer up new board members.
Think about it. If all the time and energy spent in evading responsibility were instead spent in fixing the problem and taking steps so it doesn’t happen again, then the entire organization moves forward that much faster.
Where would you rather work – where energy is spent covering it up, or where energy is spent making it right?