Leaders Admit When They Are Wrong: Marissa Mayer’s Commentary

As we study effective leadership philosophies, I think it is important to understand one element in particular: knowing when a leader is wrong. The former Google executive turned CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Meyer, made a comment about working from home yesterday that resulted in numerous headlines.

 

Mayer claimed, “It is not effective to work from home and should be banned.” This female role model’s claim has created a negative impact on her credibility. Most of the audience has reacted harshly to her statement, because there are still a vast amount of employees and employers working from home. Their stance is they are not sitting in front of a TV watching soap operas or wasting time, they are being actively engaged in their own companies and jobs. Mayer’s backfire is in order for a company to be successful, they must be co-collaborative and interdependent to get the task force accomplished.

 

Although both claims are understandable, Marissa Mayer should, as a leader, understand her role amongst the public. After all, leaders are still allowed to make mistakes, but leading a group of people sometimes involves “admitting when they are wrong.”



13 Responses to “Leaders Admit When They Are Wrong: Marissa Mayer’s Commentary”

  1.   ooladipu Says:

    Being able to admit to your own faults as a leader can be a hard task. Although we associte our faults as weaknesses. Being able to admitt them, I think, is a strong attribute to have.

  2.   Daedalus Says:

    ~I think it’s important to understand one element in particular: knowing when a leader is wrong.
    ~Leaders are still allowed to make mistakes

    What, they aren’t human like the rest of us?

    ~Mayer�s backfire is in order for a company to be successful, they must be co-collaborative and interdependent to get the task force accomplished

    Not necessarily her company, think about it:

    She leads a web company whose employees are mainly focused on writing code and creating algorithms, in other words, creative work. Creative work is hard to do collaboratively; have you ever heard of a musician writing masterpieces by collaborating with others, or a mathematician making big breakthroughs by collaborating with others, or a painter making a marvelous work of art with the help of many hands? Very rarely. Because it’s hard to pull off!

    It’s a good idea to get in touch with your fellow programmers every now and then, but you need time to think and come up with your own conclusions before talking about it with other people, that’s how progress is achieved!

  3.   llawson Says:

    I think that there is a very fine line between opinion and being incorrect. In this case, I see his disagreement as opinion, but perhaps her call to ban the practice overstepping some lines. As far as the general concept, I see it as imperative that leaders know when to say that they are wrong. After all, how can you fix something that you can’t even admit to being broken? These cases are certainly an example of how denial can make the situation much worse than actually admitting there was a mistake. I’ve been there, and I certainly know its hard to do, but I think honest and transparency will get you much further than trying to cover for yourself or others.

    •   lwaldron Says:

      Lori,

      Thank you for your feedback. Not only are you the best suitemate ever, but you are a thoughtful/mindful person at that. I could not agree more with your response. It struck me as odd this article I found on a certain news site, but I had seen Mayer’s story reach other headlines, did not fall under the “opinion section.” As a persona active in student media and contributor to C2M’s Opinion Column, I thought it was a bit biased myself. Transparency is key in leadership. No one appreciates uncertainty!

      -Lauren

  4.   lwaldron Says:

    Thank you very much! I try to keep all of my articles current and with relatable content. Yesterday, I posted a new blog about the possibility of a First Man accompanied by a first female President. It’s a “must read!”

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