Friday, June 20, 2014

Ask for forgiveness, not permission

I made "Ask for forgiveness, not permission" as one of my favorite leadership quotes. I first heard this from Richard Rierson and I liked this phrase very much and adopted it into my life and career.

Wait a second, it this really true? I don't think it's always true. I cannot let loose my team to do whatever they want and come back to me asking for forgiveness. Both me and my team members should earn this. As a delegator, I am responsible for my teams actions. So it is my job to mentor them to the high standards where they can make their own decisions. As human beings we all are susceptible to do mistakes. I believe that as long an honest attempt is made, the person should be pardoned. Based on the past judgment and work we can earn mutual trust and follow this approach.

With this approach, instead of getting bogged down by the bureaucracy, our team can bulldoze road blocks, break mediocracy, take calculated risks and perform beyond expectations. But we should all be very careful and not take this too far. There may be situations where we need to stop and ask for permission or discuss for better alternatives. With sound judgement and solid trust this motto really helps team to perform efficiently.

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