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Leadership: Admitting Mistakes And Forgiving Yourself Is All A Part Of It
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Leadership: Admitting Mistakes And Forgiving Yourself is All A Part Of It

The reporter for Health Care Leadership positioned her recording device in front of me. "You are okay with me recording this conversation?" She asked in a deceptively sweet smile.

"Of course," I answered. "You did say you wanted to interview me when you called. It's probably easier and more accurate than writing it done shorthand, eh?" Sometimes I am clever when I get interviewed, but I was not starting off well.

She laughed politely. "Yes, I imagine it is," she said looking up at me. "Though I don't really know shorthand."

There was a red light on her recorder, so I opted not to respond.

"Okay," she said as if to an audience, "We are here today with J. Pullman. He is a leader in health care with over 20 years of experience. His background is rehabilitation, but he pursued hospital administration after surviving Hurricane Katrina and migrating North. Is that correct?"

I felt as if I had my shirt off and let my shoulders fall. The reporter, I think her name was Nancy, had apparently done a little background check on me and had come prepared for this entirely fictitious interview that will demonstrate the value of admitting mistakes as a piece of career advice. I nodded to her.

"I am sorry," she said. "I am recording this and I can't pick up head nods or shakes. Would you mind answering aloud?"

I cleared my throat, "No, I don't mind, and yes your history of me is true."

"Good," she said narrowing her eyes. "What is the biggest mistake you have made in your career?"

I guess we were done with the small talk. I did not have to search long to find her answer. "I once had a manager that worked for me in a rehabilitation hospital that was part of a system that had lots of facilities. His name was David." I scrunched my face sorry that I had divulged his real first name, "David Winner," I lied about his last name. "Anyway, David was an extraordinary person and manager. When he worked for me, his department had the outstanding patient, physician, and employee satisfaction numbers."

Nancy touched her upper lip with her tongue.

"As a result," I continued, "The facility was extraordinarily busy and by all measures successful. I wanted to reward David for his efforts, so talked with the regional people and worked to find him a chance for promotion. Well, it didn't take too long, and I found him a CEO role at a small facility. I thought it was a perfect fit for him."

Nancy nodded in understanding.

"Anyway, after I had secured the position, I told David about it, but he didn't want it. He said that he was happy where he was and did not want to go. At the time, I was sort of disappointed in him, so I told him he couldn't work for me anymore. I gave him three months to find a job. I supported him the whole time and even gave him recommendations, but I never relented and after three months, he was gone." I looked Nancy in the eyes.

Her eyebrows elevated slightly, otherwise her expression remained unchanged.

"I am sorry that I let my ego and pride stand in the way of changing my mind. I should have kept David where he was. The facility never regained itself after he left." I searched the floor with my eyes.

Nancy broke the silence, "That's the biggest mistake you ever made?" There was a hint at surprise in her voice.

"Yes," I said. "It is the biggest mistake because I made a decision based on an unhealthy emotion. I also hurt David, though I am sure that he recovered and lived an even happier existence. And finally, it was the worst mistake I made because I hurt all the people in the community that would have benefited from receiving care from the department David managed. I hurt them and they did not even know it. I guess you could say that I am hurting them still."

Nancy swallowed hard. "But you admit it so freely today. What changed in you? It seems like you would have kept him if faced with the same decision today?"

"Yes, I would," I said without hesitation. "I am able to admit it today, because as long as I did not admit it, I had to live with the demons of my choice. When I finally gave in and admitted to myself that it was a mistake, I was able to forgive myself. Only then did I recover."

"Do you know where David is now?" Nancy asked.

"No, no I don't, but I hope he has forgiven me," I said.

"I imagine he has," Nancy said as condolence.

"I hope so," I answered. This is just a bit of career advice from a guy who was made his share of mistakes.

Thanks for reading.

Street Talk

Great Post!! Carmella Martinez LowkeyMedia Marketing Team

  about 1 decade ago

Please, please comment for me. Please, please share if you like it or hate it or whatever. Thanks, J.

  about 1 decade ago
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