I wish to share 3 Instances:
- Dr. Abdul Kalam bypassed the faulty computer systems and went ahead with the launch. The rocket failed to take off and fell into the Bay of Bengal. He was all set to be pulverized at the press conference, but his Guru and leader Shri Satish Dhawan faced the newspaper reporters. He took all the blame.
The next satellite attempt was launched successfully. This time the young enthusiastic Dr. Abdul Kalam invited Dr. Satish Dhawan to the press conference.
“When you have succeeded you don’t need me, I will bear the arrows of failures”, exclaimed Dr. Dhawan.
A leader is a person who takes all the responsibility. When he or she fails, at least they can say SORRY.
Nobody in India seems to be making mistakes. It may be a shortage of oxygen, migrant crisis, or inadequate preparation for vaccination. We understand that execution is extremely difficult in India, but what stops us from saying SORRY?
When did you say SORRY to your family the last time? SORRY I screwed it up. What is stopping you? Do you have the SKIN IN THE GAME?
2. Oprah was shocked. The school in South Africa, which she had built, was on the firing line. The dorm matron had sexually abused the children. Oprah could have easily escaped the blame. She could have pointed out to the headmistress.
Instead, Oprah took action:
- She hired investigators to probe into the incident
- She recruited a trauma specialist to assist the students and
- She personally traveled from the USA to the school in South Africa to be in the center of the storm, rather than handle the crisis by remote control.
She admitted that she was responsible and expressed, “I understand the mistakes I made because I have been paying attention to the wrong things. I built that school from ‘outside-in’ when what really mattered was the ‘inside-out’.
We all make mistakes, even the greatest of schools could make a mistake. What needs to be done is – say SORRY. The school management could have done it, but there seems to be something in our culture that stops people short of saying SORRY.
Why don’t we have a SKIN IN THE GAME? Can you recall the last time someone said – SORRY, I goofed it up?
3. Have you read Berkshire Hathway’s report to its shareholder’s date 2020?
It reads like this:
“I am responsible for the USD 11 Billion write-down is almost entirely the quantification of a mistake I made in 2016. That year, Berkshire purchased Precision Castparts (PCC) and paid too much for the company.
No one misled me in any way – I was simply too optimistic. My miscalculation was laid bare by adverse developments through the aerospace industry, PCC’s most important source of customers” – WARREN BUFFET.
Warren Buffet has the SKIN IN THE GAME. He takes 100% ownership for his failure.
Dear friends could any of you cite instances of our Politicians, CEOs or Board of Directors stating, “I made a mistake. I am SORRY”.