By Steve Moran

A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with Alison Fragale and somehow we drifted into a conversation about what power naturally does to leaders and there was this tiny bit of “Well I am not like that” that played through my head.  

Then a few days ago I was confronted with . . . “Oh damn, I just did that thing”.

The Story . . .

Several months ago I was approached to see if I would be willing to be on someone else’s podcast to talk about podcasting in the senior living space, and I said yes. Then a few months later I was sent a transcript of the podcast for approval and I, in turn, forwarded that transcript to Pam McDonald, my co-host on the podcast, though in fairness, it would be more fair to say I am her co-host since she drives the whole thing and does an amazing job.

A few days later I got an email from Pam with this:

I just saw this and, frankly, my feelings are hurt. — Pam

It really stung like crazy because what I had done was do the podcast and talk about “my podcast” without even as much as mentioning Pam and it was one of those things that could not really be undone. All I could think was “I suck” and how can I make it up.

My Lessons . . . Your Lessons . . .

So maybe, I hope you have never done this, will never do this, and as a result, you won’t need these lessons, though I would caution you to be cautious about even that. But here they are:

  1. Power (something that comes with leadership) changes how you behave toward others and no matter how committed you are to not letting your leadership position change you, it will.
  2. I am grateful we have an organizational culture where Pam felt comfortable saying “my feelings were hurt.”
  3. I am grateful that I had enough trust in her to know that she would not voice a complaint like that unless she had a legitimate complaint.
  4. I did three things:
    1. Apologize
    2. Made amends – in part this article
    3. Made a commitment to myself to be more careful about giving credit where credit is due.

The Bottom Line . . .

The bottom line is that leadership is crazy hard and because it is hard no one ever ever ever gets it right 100% of the time. Great leaders work to get it right 100% of the time while knowing it is an impossible goal. They, of course, correct as necessary and say I am sorry every time it is needed.