Be Wrong and Be Right

There is a thing called the blame-game, where a problem develops into a bigger one via finger pointing, rather than a solution… I find the concept of blame uninteresting, in addition to being an obstacle to progress. We are all making mistakes all the time, the best only some of the time.

The most important thing is to be brave enough to admit your mistakes, not to try to avoid them altogether. This is more difficult for you to do if you know you will somehow be punished. Also, how can you improve something if everything is working fine? So, be wrong; embrace and welcome the feeling of being wrong.  It is so valuable because nothing has the same effect of driving you towards being a better person, in work and life in general. This does not mean that we can do away with accountability. But even when who’s to blame is important, it is in most cases more important to fix the problem first.

Why do I think it is correct to be sending such messages to grown up people, many of which are experienced professionals with cognitive skills superior to mine? The answer is that I am right. Recently my bank declined my request for a loan.  I wrote mail to a few people at the bank explaining that this decision was wrong. A manager from the bank called right away to tell me how the process had somehow gone wrong, there had been mistakes… I just stopped him there and asked if I could get the loan or not. He said yes. I said, OK let’s fix this and all is well that ends well. No offence, no harm. Who was to blame, if anyone, did not matter at all. I got the loan. I was right. As I am right about telling people to relegate blame. Sometimes you also need to have the courage to be right.

Finally, often it is the so called Hegelian dialectics that gets us forward. There is a view (thesis), there is an opposing view (antithesis), and from them comes the common result (synthesis). This only happens when people have the courage to be both right and wrong.