Do You Have the Courage to Confess Errors That Negatively Affect Others

Reputation Specialist Essays
2 min readMar 1, 2021

Do you have the humility, courage and strength to confess significant errors to those who count on you? Not all leaders will own their errors and communicate it humbly to other people.

Warren Buffett has done so here (Warren Buffett’s $10 Billion Mistake):

“I was wrong…in judging the average amount of future earnings and, consequently, wrong in my calculation of the proper price to pay for the business.

Then he says this:

“PCC is far from my first error of that sort. But it’s a big one.”

Look at the responsibility he shows. That failing could not have been easy for him to to think about. There had to be some trepidation, if not fear about having to convey this message.

Buffett mentions being “wrong” twice, then talks about how he’s made “that sort” of error (third mention of his failing) and owns the magnitude of it.

This is extremely rare, which is why it stands out.

Do you have stories about leaders (even if it’s yourself) who have showed this type of behavior? How did you receive them? Did you respect them more, or less?

What about when leaders have tried to hide or downplay errors? What did you think of them?

Michael Toebe is a specialist who helps individuals and organizations with further building, protecting, restoring or reconstructing reputation. He is the founder of,, and and author of “Your Reputation Signature,” available on Amazon.



Reputation Specialist Essays

Michael Toebe is the founder and specialist at Reputation Quality, a consultancy, advisory, coaching and communications services practice.