I didn’t think Donald Trump would apologize. Most type-A, power-hungry (albeit successful) people usually never do.
In fact, I think it’s one of those things they’re taught (either by their successful parents or others in their circle.)
“Never apologize … It’s a sign of weakness,” I’ve heard people say occasionally. “People mistake kindness for weakness.”
I believe many of our interpersonal conflicts can be resolved if we individually just owned up when we screwed up … If we just said, “Sorry, ‘my bad.”
The Marine Corps beat it into me. “Stand by your decision and be confident in your actions … But when you screw up, own up to it,” I remember my Drill Instructor saying to me.
It’s worked for me for several years. I’d like to think that owning up to my mistakes has helped me serve my superiors and earn the respect of those I’ve supervised.
But that’s the thing … When you’re rich, or when you have no one holding you accountable, there’s very little reason for someone who made a mistake to apologize.
I’ve worked with several people who have the same “passion” as Donald Trump. They are proud of their accomplishments and have a strong network of like-minded successful people who are far better than average when it comes to getting things done. Some of these people are my friends today, and some I couldn’t wait to get away from.
But they all have one thing they have in common: They NEVER apologized. For anything. Even when they were blatantly in the wrong. I’ve looked some of these people square in the face as we were discussing something that was the result of THEIR error, and they’ve bold-faced avoided saying those two little words. Instead, they sometimes chose to “regret a decision,” or maybe they say they “would have gone about things differently,” but they NEVER simply acknowledged their screw-up by saying “I’m sorry … My bad.”
I used to think of their denial as a flaw on their part. But now I’m not so sure.
As I listen to Donald Trump double-down on his McCain insults, I imagine there are some people (including some of my successful friends) who RESPECT Trump for sticking by his (ridiculous) statements, even if they didn’t agree with them.
I’m not suggesting I’M going to suddenly put up a brick wall of denial in my future endeavors. I think I’ll always be ready to admit when I’ve made a mistake. But, in the vein of professional behavior, I’d be interested in hearing from someone who lives by a standard of never apologizing.