NACD - National Association of Corporate Directors

Honesty, Candor and a Shared Future

We've all made mistakes, some we admit, some we hide. The good news is that honest confessions of our mistakes can provide cover for others to tell their truths as well, creating greater connections and stronger, more honest cultures. While we often look up to charismatic speakers or those in the media spotlight, the greatest moments in leadership are not the inspiring speeches but "rather little moments of confession, when they admitted to a mistake or a weakness," according to Daniel Coyle, author of "The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups," (Bantam, New York, 2018). "Dave Cooper, a Navy SEAL, put it this way: 'The most important words a leader can say is, 'I screwed that up.'"

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