Five Little Words

by | Oct 20, 2020

Think you’re a good leader? Depends on how often you use these five words.

At some point, everyone learns their manners. While not everyone holds on to that lesson, words such as “please” and “thank you” are pushed on us from an early age.

But according to, if you’re responsible for others, it turns out there are five more important words. Those words? “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”

According to, one of the most important leadership skill is admitting when you’re wrong. This is hard because most of us don’t like to apologize or admit we were wrong. But it happens to all of us and it comes down to how we respond.

Good leaders make it a point to respond with an apology and one they actually mean. You can use this with customers as well by saying something such as “I’m really sorry, we didn’t handle that well.” Then followup with what you plan to do to correct whatever you were wrong about.

Most important, don’t make an excuse for why you’re sorry. It defeats the purpose.

Brian Banmiller

About Brian

CBS News Radio national business journalist Brian Banmiller has spent more than 40 years in the news industry, covering business, politics and the economy on television, radio and in print. Currently, his “Banmiller on Business” reports are delivered to an audience of millions nationwide.

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