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It's a Team's Life

Acknowledge Your Mistakes

By Linda Caffee
Posted Aug 4th 2020 6:39AM

What happened next was unusual as a hand came out of the window and waved big with all of his fingers pointing up.  I took that to mean he realized he messed up and was acknowledging his mistake.  Immediately I got over my irritation as I am far from perfect, and I sure do not expect anyone else to be perfect.  His wave was what turned an annoyance into a smile as there was no damage.

How often, when we hear someone apologize or say I am sorry for my actions, do we almost immediately say thank you?  It is not always easy to say I am sorry, or I made a mistake, but the rewards can be far-reaching. 

Admitting mistakes often will lead to more trust, and if a leader makes you seem more human.  A leader often thinks admitting to a mistake makes them look weak.  We were at a TA/Petro Driver Meeting, and the CEO at the time, Tom O’Bryan, talked about the many changes they were making to their facilities.  He spoke about the upgraded showers, fixing the parking lots, and improving the laundry rooms.  Then tom went on to talk about a couple of changes he had thought up that turned out to be terrible flops.  He had us all laughing as he explained his great idea, and as many of us had seen the result of his change, we were grimacing, and then Tom said the feedback was awful.  He admitted his mistake and reversed the changes.  He did this all on stage and took full responsibility for his error. I think most of the drivers in the room would have walked on hot coals for Tom.

Some people learn from their mistakes, and others continue to make the same mistake repeatedly, hoping for a different outcome.  If the mistake was something that can be shared with others, where they could learn from it, go ahead and share.  Mistakes can be costly, and if we can share what happened and why then I think we should share our experiences. 

Acknowledging our mistakes and saying we are sorry helps not only us but the person we wronged. 

Bob & Linda Caffee


Saint Louis MO

Expediters since January 2005

[email protected]


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