We all have opinions about the Will Smith and Chris Rock saga.  It’s often easy to judge from the outside looking in. No matter what we think, or how we see the situation, we should reflect on the lessons that came out of this experience because there were many. We are often caught up in the political and personal theories that we fail to catch a glimpse of the lesson. Everything in life teaches us if we are open to the learning.

Here are 6 self –  leadership lessons from this apology

  1. Are you too important?

Your importance can never be greater than the importance of anyone else. No matter who you are, how famous you are, how much you have or how successful you have become, it does not give you the right to behave however you choose. You are never too important to humble yourself and to say, “I am sorry, I made a mistake”.

  1. Are mistakes a reality?

There is no such thing as a perfect life. The best of us have made mistakes or decisions that we are not proud of.  It’s a part of life and a part of understanding who and what is important. We don’t arrive fully educated and in control of every aspect of our lives. Mistakes happen and it takes great courage to acknowledge them.

  1. Do we set the example?

Our behaviour sets the tone for our family and carries great impact in the way in which they will in turn treat others.   Our example, the way we fix our mistakes and the way in which we take responsibility for them paves the way for those we lead. We must constantly remind ourselves that our behaviour should teach others to understand that there is nothing noble about humiliating anyone.

  1. Is it shameful to apologize?

An apology does not diminish you, it defines you. It creates a sense of self-responsibility and it demonstrates a willingness to resolve a difference. There is nothing shameful about apologizing, or acknowledging your faults. It is the mark of a great leader to take a step back, to take stock of his/her behaviour and to genuinely acknowledge the error of their ways.

  1. Is reflection necessary?

Time allows us to reflect on our mistakes. It gives us a chance to replay, rewind, reframe and respond. Taking time to do this takes great self-leadership. It highlights the disconnect between our values and our behaviour because bad behaviour doesn’t equal bad people. Mistakes will be plentiful in our lifetime and we must learn from them in order to correct them so that we don’t carry the regret of unresolved conflicts.

  1. Does it change our purpose?

No matter what curveballs life throws at you, staying true to your purpose is of paramount importance.  Mistakes don’t take away from the good in people, but how we deal with them can define the path for the future. Being willing to forgive yourself and being able to separate your mistake from who you are as a person is important. We cannot allow a mistake to become a stick with which we continuously beat ourselves with.

It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge our mistakes and even more to do something to correct them.  Leadership is not perfection, but it is about perfecting our behaviour so that we create pride in others, so that we leave them inspired and so that we set an example of collaboration, unity and respect.