It is the most professionally embarrassed that I’ve ever been.
Far worse than the side seam of my dress opening up before a speech in front of hundreds and borrowing gaffer tape minutes before, hoping that all would hold together as the video cameras rolled.
Worse, too, than missing the meeting with a CEO years ago because I failed to put it on my calendar.
Last evening, as I happily worked away in my office, members of the Executive Forum were gathering on Zoom.
And because my phone was silenced, I did not hear the many text messages that were coming in.
“Zoom says I’m waiting for host to start the meeting.”
“Are you all right?”
“I’m here, I hope everything’s ok.”
In fact, I didn’t see those messages until I picked up my phone, 25 minutes after the start of the meeting.
I had completely gotten my days mixed up.
As I let out a “Holy S#@*!” and raced to Zoom and send out texts — ill-prepared and sans makeup, wearing a favorite, tattered running thermal — members who’d exited the meeting jumped back on.
Relationships of all kinds are built on trust and generosity and goodwill and investment.
In business, those essentials must be earned.
And never taken for granted.
Members of the Forum were profoundly gracious, generous with my mistake, and accepting of my apologies and desire to make things right. Several said it was helpful and reassuring to see someone else having a human moment.
There used to be a Sidney Poitier quote on my fridge, something I’d scrawled on a piece of paper while listening to his NPR interview years ago.
It went something like this: “It doesn’t matter how many times we get knocked down, it’s how we spend our time when we get up that matters.”
Last night I saw that this wisdom is as applicable in business as it is for facing life’s adversities.
How we spend our time when we get up.
We will fall.
Enrollment opened yesterday for membership in the Magnificent Leadership® Executive Forum and will close at the end of the month. You won’t find a more trusting, vibrant, real community of leaders. To learn about Annual Membership Privileges and apply, go here.