Three Little Words Every Leader Needs to Learn

by Jeremy Saunders on May 30, 2009

My boss recently sent around an excellent article by Rosabeth Moss Kanter from Harvard Business School titled “Three Little Words Every Leader Needs to Learn“. Those three words are “I was wrong”.

People respect you more when you admit to mistakes, that you don’t know the answer to their question(s), or that you’re man/woman enough to say sorry. Not to take this out of context, but making mistakes in life is what makes us grow and develop as people. Others watch and learn from that too. NO ONE is perfect, beyond the law, and beyond criticism.

Someone who needs to read this article is Sol Trujillo, the former Telstra CEO. As he parted his role earlier this week, rather than admitting that he was wrong and out of touch with Australia’s needs, he very carefully tried to suggest that Australia is backwards in its ways, and being here was like “stepping back in time”. He even accused our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, of being racist. Hardly, given that he speaks several Asian languages and has a Chinese/Hong Kong born son-in-law. I would suggest that it’s all sour grapes from the man they first referred to as “Sole True Hero”. He is self-centered, and has singlehandedly alienate governments of both political persuasions. But overall, he failed to improve the competitive position of the company, and most believe they even went backwards. He was a failure.

He was behind the intimidation, bullying and vilification of ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) chairman Graeme Samuel, and spent Telstra money to setup a web site and launching a campaign called “Time To Go Graeme”. I never understood how the Telstra board and shareholders let him get away with this. No wonder why the share price of Telstra dropped far below market expectations.

Obviously they don’t teach good business skills at the University of Wyoming, where he received his Bachelor of Business degree and MBA from. So whilst our Prime Minister says “Adios” to Sol, Graeme Samuel says “Time To Go Sol”, and the rest of us say good riddance, maybe he needs to put that $30 million of cash and bonuses he earnt for doing nothing to good use and attend some business courses at Harvard!

Jeremy Saunders

Jeremy Saunders

Independent Consultant | Contractor | Microsoft & Citrix Specialist | Desktop Virtualization Specialist at J House Consulting
Jeremy is a highly respected, IT Professional, with over 30 years’ experience in the industry. He is an independent IT consultant providing expertise to enterprise, corporate, higher education and government clients. His skill set, high ethical standards, integrity, morals and attention to detail, coupled with his friendly nature and exceptional design and problem solving skills, makes him one of the most highly respected and sought after Microsoft and Citrix technical resources in Australia. His alignment with industry and vendor best practices puts him amongst the leaders of his field.
Jeremy Saunders
Jeremy Saunders
Jeremy Saunders

Previous post:

Next post: