NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell under-estimated the negative impact of having replacement referees officiate the first three weeks of the 2012 NFL season. A public relations nightmare!
Eventually, Roger Goodell said, “And we’re sorry to have to put our fans through that, but it’s something that for the short term you sometimes have to do to make sure you get the right kind of agreement for the long term.” (You could argue that he could have owned the apology a bit more.)
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook over-estimated the readiness of Apple’s own Maps app. A public relations nightmare!
Eventually, Tim Cook said, “With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
Every leader has these moments. You’ll have moments like this. Some of your dreams won’t work out despite your best intentions, plans, and efforts.
Here are 2 simple but important lessons we can learn from both of these men:
1) When something goes wrong admit it. Everybody already knows it’s broken.
2) Apologize and offer a solution. Owning the problem with humility is more critical than attempting to prove your competence.
You will never want to do either of these two things. Good leaders know it’s the quickest way for everyone to move forward.