We make mistakes. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, somewhere along the road, mistakes are made. I have often seen the effects and I believe in the power of a sincere apology. A sincere apology begins with the acknowledgement that you are willing to take responsibility for what happened. With authority comes responsibility and leaders need to acknowledge that responsibility and accept that sometimes this means you are responsible for the actions not only of yourself, but others.
While it isn’t something that you do often, apologizing can be a very significant step in making things better (not right) for the moment, allowing healing and moving forward so that you can talk about how to ensure that you will work to make sure that whatever happened is not repeated.
Tom Peters has a great short video on the power of apology.