Mel Gibson–doing it wrong and doing it right

August 1, 2006

Mel Gibson stepped into it big time. He got arrested for DUI. But much worse he made some anti-Semitic and sexist remarks. Well, he was drunk. But that’s a real problem.

What he did right was the response. Read it here on CNN.  

When you’ve really screwed up, here is what it takes:

– full and complete admission of the errors without defensiveness and without any conditions or “yeah, buts.”

– recognition you have a problem that needs to be fixed.

– asking for help in getting it fixed.

– detailing specific actions being taken to address the problem.

Every company or organization or celebrity caught in this level of serious difficulty should take a lesson. What if Martha Stewart had done this? “I screwed up, I’m sorry, I should have known better, I will pay the price.” Would she have gone to jail? Lost the millions in share value? Lost the respect of most of the world? I don’t think so.

Why is it so hard for us as individuals and companies to admit when we are wrong?

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