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Say You’re Sorry

The recent ranker in the public square called Washington D.C. was a reminder of what great leaders do and what lesser leaders resort to doing. Great leaders accept responsibility especially when mistakes happen, a good idea goes bad, progress isn’t made, or a tragedy happens on their watch. Lesser leaders respond with, “Don’t blame me. It’s not my fault!” Unfortunately we didn’t get to witness great leadership in the face of the debt crisis instead there was a failure to lead in Washington. I was disappointed in President Obama, the Democratic Senate and the Republican house, these so called leaders of the free world.

Accepting responsibility isn’t much fun and it isn’t easy. Also it’s true that if you have opponents they may take the opportunity to kick you while you are down. Nonetheless great leaders know how to say they are sorry. With courage and humility leaders can express remorse. Then they strive to do better, to learn from the mistakes, to recover from the tragedy.

For those of you who have had the courage to apologize in the midst of adversity you know that the “I’m sorry” is like a breath of fresh air. The relief may not arrive immediately but it does arrive. King David of ancient Hebrew days is credited with saying, “Those who weep as they sow the seed come back singing for joy as they bring in the harvest.”  The public square needs more weeping and singing from great leaders.

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