The guilty manager went to the office of the Chief Executive with his letter of resignation in his hand. He asked the CEO to just accept the letter and not give him a verbal rocket. He explained that he knew he had made this almighty mistake and just wanted to go quietly.
The CEO handed him back the letter and said;
‘Why the hell would I want to sack someone I just spent $750,000 training’
I’m not sure if that story is factually correct but it is a great story that tells us a lot about boss/worker relationships.
I never made a mistake in my career that cost that much money – as far as I know. I have made many mistakes in my career – hopefully I have learned from them as this IBM manager certainly would have done.
One of the biggest mistakes I made was losing the key to the safe in the hospital that I worked in. We kept large amounts of cash in the safe as well as other valuables. I was one of two key holders and it took me a week to pluck up the courage to tell my boss (the other key holder) that I’d lost the key. I was only 21 at the time and I had convinced myself I would be sacked for such negligence on my part.
I finally plucked up the courage to tell my boss, he was just fantastic. He said it was not a problem. We would get a new key cut and trust that my key had not fallen into criminal hands. I never did find the original key and sure enough the safe was never raided so it had obviously not been stolen which was always my fear – I had obviously just lost it.
The week I spent thinking about telling my boss was one of the worst weeks of my life … and yet all my fears were so unnecessary. I realise now – 30 plus years later - I should have told the boss immediately and not allowed it to create all sorts of catastrophic consequences in my head that never happened in reality.
I would love to hear your stories of a mistake you are prepared to admit publicly and the way it was handled well (or not) by your boss.