Courageous Leaders Don't Make Excuses...They Apologise

Posted by Genius tribes on 9:28 AM
I came across this in one of the Forbes article and I thought it will be something good for sharing.
The authors, Doug Guthrie and Sudhir Venkatesh, make a really clear and well-reasoned case for the positive power of admitting and apologising for one’s mistakes. He mentioned in a point that :

We are frequently taught that leaders, especially aspiring leaders, should hide weaknesses and mistakes. This view is flawed. It is not only good to admit you are wrong when you are; but also it can also be a powerful tool for leaders—actually increasing legitimacy and, when practiced regularly, can help to build a culture that actually increases solidarity, innovation, openness to change and many other positive features of organizational life.

I couldn’t agree more. Followers look to see whether a leader is courageous before they’ll fully accept that person’s leadership. If they see courage (and taking full responsibility for actions and admitting and apologizing for mistakes are two of the five key indicators of courage), it feels safe to ‘sign up.’ People need courageous leaders in order to feel there’s someone to make the tough calls and to take responsibility for them – they need to know that the buck truly does stop with the leader. With a courageous leader, people feel protected – not that they’re helpless, but they know the person in charge really has their back.

And courage begets courage: your followers are more likely to make their own tough decisions and to take responsibility for them when you model that behavior. You have their backs – so they’re much more likely to have yours.

Because so many of us have a hard time apologizing, I thought it might be helpful to have an ‘apology primer.’ Here you go:

I’m sorry: this is the core of a genuine apology. “I’m sorry.” or “I apologize.” It’s the stake in the ground to communicate that you truly regret your behavior and wish you had acted differently. No apology is complete without this.

Stay in the first person: Many, perhaps most, apologies run off the rails at this point, when the apologizer shifts into the second person, e.g., “I’m sorry….you didn’t understand me.” Or “I’m sorry….you feel that way.” Suddenly, you’re no longer apologizing for your actions; you’re telling the other person that you regret their actions or feelings. A true apology sounds like, “I’m sorry I….” or “I’m sorry we…”

Don’t equivocate: Once you said what you regret about your actions or words, don’t water it down with excuses. That can blow the whole thing. The former manager of my apartment building once said to me, “I’m sorry we haven’t gotten back to you about your security deposit, but you have to understand we’ve got hundreds of tenants.” I definitely didn’t feel apologized to – in fact, I felt he was telling me I was being inconsiderate to hold him accountable! Just let the apology stand on its own. “I’m sorry we haven’t gotten back to you about your security deposit.”

Say how you’ll fix it. This seals the deal. If you genuinely regret your words or actions, you’ll to commit to changing. This needs to be simple, feasible and specific. “I’m sorry we haven’t gotten back to you about your security deposit. We’ll have an answer to you by this Friday.”

Do it. I know some people who don’t have a hard time apologizing, but seem to have a hard time following through on their apologies. If you apologize and say you’re going to behave differently, and then don’t – it’s actually worse than not having apologized in the first place. When you don’t follow through, people question not only your courage, but also your trustworthiness.


Next time you’re clearly in the wrong, take deep breath, put aside your self-justification, your excuses, your blame, your defensiveness, and simply apologize. Being courageous in this way is generally scary in anticipation. But it feels great once you’ve done it….to you, and to those you lead.


Internal Branding: Your culture is your brand

Posted by Genius tribes on 11:35 AM
Three weeks ago, I spoke to a conference of young managers organized by one of a MNC engineering company in Selangor. Range of topic covered is the need for need for employee branding and why you shouldn't let your culture evolve by itself. Instead you should play a role to design it intendly.

Building a brand today is very much different from building brand 30 or 50 years back. How it was done is by having buch of people sitting in a room, deciding what will be the brand positioning and then spend lot of money on advertising telling people what their brand was over and over again.

We are in a different world today. With the explosion of internet bubble,today we are connected to each and everyone.Companies are becoming more and more transparent whether they like it or not. An unhappy customer or a disgruntled employee can blog about bad experience with a company, and the story can spread like wildfire by email or with tools like Facebook.

Advertising can only get your brand so far. If you ask most people what the “brand” of the airline industry as a whole is (not any specific airline like AirAsia or MAS, but the entire industry itself), they will usually say something about bad customer service or bad customer experience. If you ask people what their perception of the Proton auto industry is today, chances are the responses you get won’t be in line with what the automakers project in their advertising. (Yeah , they still proud of never ending story power window).

So what’s a company to do if you can’t just buy your way into building the brand you want? What’s the best way to build a brand for the long term?

In a word: culture.

Anyone who has been through a branding process knows very well that the hardest part of the whole branding process is not coming up with a tagline, logo or the color of choice,It’s getting to your company’s DNA—what is at its heart—its values, vision, passion and purpose. That’s your culture. When you get to that, you can create your brand. If not, everythings that you say or promise will not fit into the picture.
Before you embark on a branding campaign, take a reality check. Have you uncovered your company’s DNA? Defined its culture? It’s values, vision, passion and purpose? Is it real, honest and yet still a little aspirational? Your brand must be rooted in reality with room to reach toward the future. Clearly defining your company culture is your first step in building a brand.
Building the culture/brand really is everybody’s business, and companies that understand that have a real advantage. That’s why it’s important to engage your employees in your branding process—asking them to help define your values, vision, passion and purpose. Getting their input and buy-in is critical to the success of your brand. You all need to get behind the same values, vision, passion and purpose. It’s critical to a cohesive, productive and engaging workplace.

Here are some of the details that we shared during our conference.




Hardworking or Hardly Working

Posted by Genius tribes on 7:28 AM
 Life is more that working 8 hours a day. Here is a compilation of words that shared by participants during our leadership workshop.
During the activities participants was welcomes to share what they
Activity : Participants are welcomed to share their opinions on below article and as a future leader in a corporation what Leadership Code that they will practise to overcome these issues.
  1. By working faithfully 8 hours a day you may eventually get to be boss & work 12 hours a day.
  2. Never mistake activity for progress.
  3. Just because it works that doesn’t meant it’s right.
  4. They will remember how poorly the job was done long after they’ve forgotten how quickly it was done. ( Personally i love this ;)  )
  5. The hardest lesson to learn is that learning is a continual process
  6. Failure to plan on your part does NOT constitute an emergency on my part
  7. You can’t make a fact out of an opinion by raising your voice. ( Bosses who raised their voices to make sure you stay and finish your task. Fear management )
  8. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
  9. If you can’t get all of your work done in 24 hours, work nights! 


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