Two nights ago I watched one of the most painful moments in baseball history. Yeah, I’m talking about my beloved Detroit Tigers and their pitcher getting robbed of a historic Perfect Game because of a blown call by the umpire on the final out.
That night, like a whole lot of Tigers fans and players, I was really angry at that ump. But a few hours later something happened that changed my mind.
Jim Joyce, the umpire, stood up and said, “I blew it. I kicked the (bleep) out of that call. I cost that kid a perfect game.” He went into the Tigers’ locker room and apologized to the face of both the pitcher and the manager. He went on radio and TV interviews and admitted his mistake and took his medicine.
Speaking of medicine, there were a lot of people expecting him to get roundly booed out of town when he took his place behind home plate for the following game.
Funny thing happened on the way to field, though… Instead of yelling nasty things at him, the fans shouted encouragement. Instead of booing, they clapped. Even he was shocked at the response which brought a tear to his eyes. Instead of ripping him, the fans embraced him.
All because he stood up and admitted his mistake.
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. How we handle them, however, is both a testament to our character and show of our beliefs and values. Jim Joyce showed that he was a man of honor and integrity, and instead of being run out of town on a rail, he was praised for his accountability.
The same is true about your business. When you make a mistake, no matter how big or small, take responsibility for it. Stand up and be accountable. You’ll be amazed at how quickly those whom you have wronged will be to forgive you. I know. I saw it happen yesterday in Detroit.
PS Kudos to Detroit Pitcher Armando Gallaraga and Manager Jim Leyland for the class they displayed in handling this situation, too. Both showed incredible restraint and dignity throughout the last couple of days.
Amazing what happens when you show a little class and character, isn’t it?