Did you make a huge mistake?


Did you make a huge mistake? Then make a huge confession!

Years ago, when I was working in corporate, I added a zero at the end of a copy paper order. It was proofed and approved by two people after I prepared it. Instead of 200 reams of paper, 2000 reams were delivered. All hell broke loose. When the comptroller asked how it happened. I simply said, “I did it. It was an accident. I guess I depended too much on the people who looked it over after I prepared it. I’m really sorry.” He thanked me for being so forthcoming and taking the responsibility. And he suggested calling other departments to see who else might be ordering copy paper.

We all make mistakes. Not all of them are as catastrophic as ordering 1800 reams of paper more than were needed or budgeted for. Maybe we just forgot an appointment. Or we accidentally deleted an important email. It can be very easy to blame someone else. We can make an excuse. We can even rationalize that we’re stressed, overworked and very busy.

Don’t! People have a short memory about the mistake. But they’ll always remember that you confessed and apologized.

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