I was reminded of this as I came home from work today.  I got home and the first part of the night was not how I envisioned it.  Nothing went how I had planned it.  There was tension between my wife and I and that pretty much spoiled the rest of the night.

What is the connection?

As a leader this small scale happening can emulate something that could be a year long process.  You get off on the wrong foot with one of your employees.  You say or do something that is not who you should be as a leader.  Will you get a chance to redo that first impression or is it over.  The rest of your character and your leadership is shot because of an early choice you made.  That doesn’t have to happen.

Here are the Four Steps to getting a second chance:

  1. APOLOGIZE:  This is the most important step in any relationship.  Not only in your marriage but in your business.  How many leaders are deathly afraid to admit their wrong.  It is insane.  Admit your wrong in how you acted or what you did.  Swallow your pride and move on.
  2. PROVE IT: After you apologize you need to put your money where your mouth is.  You can’t apologize and keep messing up.  You need to make a concerted effort to remind yourself what you did wrong and that you won’t repeat it again.
  3. ASK FOR FEEDBACK: You already apologized to that person and you have been trying to live up to what you said you were going to do.  Now ask them how you are doing.  Then you will truly know if you are making progress.
  4. LIVE EACH DAY LIKE IT IS YOUR LAST:  Start each day out positively.  Don’t start with a bad attitude.  Be thankful that you have the opportunity to lead like you do.  There are millions of other people that could only wish to have what you have and you dread it.  If you don’t think so watch the news for awhile and that will depress you enough to be thankful for what you do have.