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Apologetic or Excusetic?

Mark’s Market Update – 9/3/2021

The best of intentions don’t always result in the best of outcomes…and sometimes, things get missed. Mistakes get made. Errors occur. Oversights happen.  

While experience is oftentimes the best teacher – even a *ton* of experience can still see mistakes, errors, oversights, or simply, lack of knowledge coming to home to roost and disappointing outcomes can ensue. 

However – there is, obviously, a difference between casual or wonton disregard to doing the best you can, and an actual mistake (though someone once taught me that if you make a mistake – that’s a mistake. If you make the same mistake twice, that has now become a choice).   

It’s human nature for anyone to deflect the criticism that can occur because of a bad outcome due to a mistake being made and try to blame something or provide an excuse. We want to be perfect – especially in the eyes of people who are important to you (how many of you lied to your parents because you didn’t want them to think bad of you…? I know I did…)   

​One of the best things to say is, “I messed up – and I’m sorry. Here’s what happened, and here’s what I’m doing to fix it.” Sometimes there’s not a fix…at which point, obviously, you change the sentence to “I messed up – absolutely, and it’s 100% my fault, and I’m terribly, terribly sorry…aside from fixing the mistake which can’t be done…what else can I do?”  

I’m one of those people where when I make a mistake – I absolutely internalize it…and it will eat at my soul for days, or weeks…and I feel absolutely awful…because I don’t like making mistakes. But, when a mistake is made, the worst thing that can happen is to throw someone else under the bus or blame something other than what actually happened.    

I believe in being transparent. Owning up to my errors and faults. Cleaning up after my own mess-ups. I hate to say it – but I’ve apologized…a lot…during my 27 years…to important business partners, clients, my family. I won’t stop, because it’s that important to me. And, ultimately, if mistakes were made – I want to learn from them – and change systems so that I can minimize them from happening again. 

The apology? Make sure it’s heartfelt if ever you have to give one. Say it like you mean it (and don’t say it like my 12-year-old does when we’ve caught him on his computer, AGAIN (for like the 90th time) after he’s supposedly gone to bed…)…because if you’re apologizing…it shouldn’t be automatic…it should be meaningful, with intention.  

But, you know what is almost as good as a heartfelt apology? 

Accepting the apology and admitting that people with the best of intentions don’t, usually, make intentional mistakes. Only one thing is perfect in this world.