“Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.”
Jim Rohn (Entrepreneur/Author, The Art Of Exceptional Living)
“Leaders who fail to prune their pride will meet demise. That’s not a guess, it’s a guarantee. With pride, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ we will fall, but ‘when.’ There are no exceptions.”
John C. Maxwell (American Author, How Successful People Think)
“The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility, and all these petty squabbles.”
Anton Chekhov (Russian Dramatist)
Leaders rarely seek confessions.
This is because any time you spend trying to hold up a mirror to show someone they’re wrong is a complete waste of time.
It’s a waste of time because no one will ever see themselves as a bad person.
Sure, they might see that they’ve made a mistake.
They might see that they’ve hurt you, or hurt a group of people.
But, they’ll never see themselves as the villain.
They’ll never see themselves as inherently unjust.
So, let it go and quit wasting your time trying to get a confession.
Besides, what’s on the other end of a confession? A few good feelings?
Sure, you might feel good that you won an argument or got someone to confess to something, but these feelings are not going to bring you any closer to achieving your biggest goals.
Instead, they’re going to stir up even more resentment in the other person and motivate them to hide their true intentions moving forward so they can do real damage to you next time around.
Engaging in petty ego maneuvers for your own sense of subjective justice is a waste of your time.
It will steal your focus from productive work.
It will downgrade your emotional intelligence.
It will become an obsession.
If someone has done you wrong… your best course of action is to just move on.
The only person that’s going to be affected by you seeking a confession, or confronting your offender, is you.
Most people don’t have enough insight and self-awareness to see their wrong-doings.
Most people rationalize their actions anyway.
So, you’re fighting against perceptions that are held as truth and it’s a no-win situation.
Arguing and seeking confessions will waste your time and won’t get you the respect you deserve anyway.
Leaders who are focused on their end game don’t have time for petty arguments or ego-based confessions.
They aren’t easily wounded and don’t take things personally. They are goal-driven and don’t have time to waste.
The Traits That Separate Leaders From Followers
Effective leaders are created through the acquisition of specific skills.
They are strategic, not reactive.
Thoughtful, but not emotional.
Focused, self-controlled, and composed enough to rise above disagreements or minor injustices.
They have high emotional intelligence, are self-aware and promote positive relationships and outcomes.
The number one trait of successful leaders, as reported by Business Insider, was self-management:
“Effective leaders can regulate their time, attention, and emotions, and they are familiar with their strengths, weaknesses, and potential sources of bias.”
The Center for Creative Leadership published similar findings in their research and found today’s leaders to have weakest competencies in inspiring commitment, leading employees, strategic planning, and change management.
This study found a gap between leaders needed and those available with the necessary skills, with self-awareness cited as one separating good leaders from good followers.
A second study from this group, Developing Leadership by Building Psychological Capital, identified 4 qualities for building “psychological capital” among teams, with leaders possessing hope, efficacy, resiliency, and optimism to contribute to a positive environment.
When it comes to workplace performance, a higher level of psychological capital was shown to reduce employee cynicism and desire to quit, and instead produced a higher level of satisfaction while promoting more positive relationships.
Research out of the University of Nebraska confirms that these traits based in positive psychology create “leaders who are more authentic and transformational and will have a more positive impact on their followers’ motivational tendencies.”
Bottom line — as a leader, you don’t have time for petty disagreements.
You don’t have time to waste, and you don’t have focus to waste.
Regardless of the environment you operate in, if you identify as a leader, you are more focused on rising above time-wasting, negative interactions and moving forward to your goals.
Why Seeking Apologies And Confessions Is A Waste of Time
As a leader, you are passionate and committed to your purpose.
Not everyone will agree with you, either.
In fact, some people will be outright against you.
The only person that matters is you.
If someone gets under your skin or in your way, don’t waste your time arguing with them about it.
Here are 3 reasons why leaders rarely seek confessions…
1. No one plays the villain in their own life.
No one likes to admit that they’re wrong.
Some people lack insight, and some people just refuse.
It doesn’t matter what the truth is.
The truth is only your perception anyway — just like it is with the other person.
So, it’s a he said, she said scenario — where there is often no middle ground.
Admitting you’re wrong is uncomfortable.
It’s cognitive dissonance that smacks you in the face.
Few can handle their own hypocrisy.
And, everyone is an expert at justifying their behavior.
On the rare occasion you might be dealing with a true narcissist, it’s even more of a lost cause.
No matter what facts you bring to the table, you’re going to think you’re right, and they’re going to think they are.
And, all the time you spend rolling around all the reasons why you’re right, why you deserve an apology, why you seek justice…
Settle down, Braveheart… all you’re doing is wasting valuable energy.
While you fixate on childish upset and your poor slighted feelings, the villain becomes the victor, because they continue to move forward unimpacted.
Time to grow up.
The longer you allow your thoughts to run rampant on this lost cause of seeking an apology or corrective action, the longer you spend in the dust you just got left behind in.
2. Confessions don’t resolve conflict, they intensify it.
So let’s say you did create such a compelling argument that someone actually yielded to you.
Aside from all the time you just wasted, what’s the real outcome?
You got the confession you sought, and now you feel victorious.
Are you going to go forward in that relationship with good, snuggly feelings of resolution and intensified connectedness?
People don’t get over their losses that easily, or that gracefully.
You’ll have stirred up feelings of embarrassment and resentment.
Most people concede reluctantly.
So now, they’re bitter.
And on guard.
They’ll be tiptoeing on eggshells and uncomfortable.
Or, just plain mad and looking for a next time to even the score.
So now, you’re the one under a microscope while they watch your every move, just waiting for you to screw up.
People love payback.
If you think you won this round, the other person is going to be waiting for the next round.
It’s not over.
You’ve just started a cycle that is going to intensify.
If they didn’t see the error of their ways and come to you to resolve the issue first, you drawing it out of them isn’t going to suddenly correct what’s likely a lifetime of indignation.
They’ll just dig in and be ready for a fight the next time.
And grab whatever ammo they can from this time to use against you.
Meanwhile, every interaction will feel forced and uncomfortable.
Let it go and move on.
3. Coercing someone into saying they’re sorry is merely an ego trip.
Someone treated you like crap, went behind your back, said some awful thing about you, and you want them to own up to it.
Your own righteous indignation has swelled up past your ego to say that you deserve it.
How dare they!
You feel proud of your ability to confront and call someone out on their crap.
It’s now your personal mission to get them to be accountable for what they did.
You create entire discussions in your mind that harness all of the logical and emotional reasons delivered perfectly.
Pulling one trick after another, in an attempt to get them to acknowledge what your ego demands.
That you were right.
That they were wrong.
That they shouldn’t have done what they did.
That they’re sorry and won’t do it again.
But mostly, that you were right… right?
Let’s be honest.
When people do you wrong, your ego demands repentance.
Here’s where you’ll justify all the time and energy you put into this mission too.
You feel you deserve it.
You’re entitled to it.
Those conversations will never go as you’ve rehearsed them because those only live in Fantasyland, where you get to control the other person.
Beyond that, if you get the confession you’re looking for at the end, how long does that satisfaction last?
Your ego will demand you re-tell that story to everyone you know — making the villain more villainized each time.
Puffing up your proverbial feathers because it makes you feel good for… an hour… maybe a day?
Are you going to linger in it for a week or more?
While you’re preening yourself, the real leaders have blown past you and left you behind.
Ego and emotional intelligence are archenemies.
They don’t coexist in a power struggle in any effective leader’s mind or life.
In the end, you might think you got what you want, but more times than not, you just make yourself look like an ass.
They don’t learn anything or change their behavior going forward, and you’ve wasted time, energy, and focus for an afterschool playground revenge match.
Instead, you can advance your position and elevate your life by keeping your eye on the prize and minimizing the impact others have on you in the first place.
If people aren’t with you, leave them behind.
You aren’t supposed to get along with everyone. People will do you wrong, or try and sabotage your goals, and you’ll feel entitled to an apology. In the process, you’ll waste valuable time and energy trying to get one. Allow disagreements to be a way of separating the wheat from the chaff. Not everyone you know now belongs in your future anyway. Don’t reduce yourself and your energy to teenage drama. Not everything needs to be smoothed over. Be okay with walking away with loose ends untied. Be fierce with your energy and where you direct it — and who you allow to influence it. Instead of arguing, a better strategy is to simply walk away from people who are never going to be there for you or for your goals.
To learn more about Why Leaders Don’t Seek Apologies And Confessions, and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.