“I was wrong.”

If you are anything like me, you don’t say those seemingly simple words often enough.

Over time, I believe I’ve gotten better at admitting my mistakes. Yet far too often I still remain more worried about protecting my ego than owning up to reality.

We’ve all witnessed friends, colleagues, bosses, loved ones and public figures make a mistake but fail to accept it.

Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, or whether you believe that the country desperately needs to tackle the role of government, mounting deficits and an explosion in entitlement payments, much of what Mitt Romney said on the hidden video released earlier this week was wrong-headed and ill-informed. And pretty much everyone knows this.

The campaign has spent the last couple of days parsing the statements, shifting blame, trying to direct attention elsewhere and over-explaining. It’s not helping.

I’ve engaged in the same defensive, ego protecting behavior when I knew I was wrong. Thankfully, I’ve been on a much smaller stage and dealing with dramatically less weighty issues.

Here’s the thing. Most of the time I’m wrong, the people around me realize it. My defensiveness only serves to impede growth and keep me dis-connected.

Saying “I was wrong” unleashes me, and brings me closer to people.

And I get bonus points for adding “and I’m sorry and I will work hard to do better next time.”

Your turn Mr. Romney.

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