Thursday, August 20, 2009

Admitting Failure

This post by employment attorney John Phillips about a candid admission of failure is a reminder of a powerful truth. It will cause many of us to recall occasions that would have been quickly defused if someone had simply been honest.

Fiorello La Guardia, while mayor of New York City, was once asked by the press about an embarrassing appointment that he'd made to a city commission. His response? "When I make a mistake, it's a beaut!"

The story, which would have dragged on had he been evasive, quickly died and LaGuardia's reputation for honesty was enhanced. Basic rule that cannot be considered too often: It is better to do right than to be right.


John Phillips said...

Thanks for linking to my post, and thanks for the former New York mayor's quote. I was trying to think of someone like him today, but I'm drawing a blank.

Michael Wade said...


You're welcome. The last politician to impress me with his candor was when Sam Steiger was running for governor in Arizona. Someone brought up one of his wilder comments and he replied something to the effect of "That sounds like the sort of dumb remark I might have made."