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Leaders and their mistakes

Tari Lang LinkedIn post 15 June 2017

"Mr Cameron’s dismal record is fixed forever in the history books. Mrs May still has a chance to write a redeeming codicil." So says Philip Stephens in the Financial Times this week. The ultimate price for a leader who has made a gigantic judgement or strategic error is mostly a gigantic fall. For a national leader, the process is public, (often) quick and less forgiving. With support from the leader's coterie this process might be delayed but end in a fall it will be. As they say in cop shows: "you can do it the hard way or you can do it the easy way". Corporate leaders too, make blundering mistakes. CEOs have learned to apologise (with or without pressure), remember James Staley and ? Oscar Munoz's ? But eating humble pie, following up with a change of direction in the interest of the institution and stakeholders, being forgiven and surviving? Less obvious to find and the recent shenanigans at Uber is testament to this. It may be that the saying "every saint has a past and every sinner has a future" is as impossible in corporate life as it is in government.


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