Do You Need a Leadership Mulligan?


How can a leader recover from a bad decision that results in significantly negative ramifications?

A leader was reflecting on a decision he made that resulted in less than desirable consequences. In truth, the leadership decision he made was “just a bad decision” that was damaging to the organization. His leadership decision was costly as key personnel resigned and left the organization. He also experienced setbacks in effectiveness and loss of personnel credibility.

A few years later this wise leader said, “I wish I could get a mulligan on that one.”

Not being a golfer, I knew a mulligan was a golf term but was not sure of its exact meaning. Wikipedia describes a mulligan as a “do over” and is usually used when a golfer hits a shot that is so bad there is no recovery.

In my life as a leader and also a follower, I have learned that even the wisest leaders do not always make the best decisions. In fact our bad decisions can, and often do, negatively impact the organizations and people we lead.

How does a leader recover from a bad decision which results in significantly negative ramifications? While it is not easy, I think it can be done in many instances.

Written by Jay Vineyard

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