"I was wrong" is one of my least favorite responses. If you are like me, you dislike being told that you are wrong. Leaders make mistakes. As leaders we have a choice on whether we are going to live with pride or with humility when it comes to relationships. I would say that most arguments are usually petty problems that will not matter in eternity! We have a choice as leaders to win the argument or lose the relationship. Humility and the willingness to admit wrongs builds relationships and trust.
Why is this difficult? Human nature is competitive. We want to "one up" each other because one of Satan's tactics is to tempt us into the comparison trap. The attitude of pride builds and the focus is placed back on our abilities and not upon God's grace. When is the last time you admitted that you were wrong? The ironic fact is that some leaders will not even admit being wrong in the smallest of details. If the goal of leadership is to always be right, then there is no room for grace and ultimately the need for God's wisdom. God does not call perfect, all-knowing people to serve but those who are teachable and humble. The true nature of a leader will eventually come out when they are pressed (Matthew 7:15-27). A leader that is grounded in God's Word will not be shaken when crisis or confrontation occurs. Wisdom and character must be the bedrock of leadership for it to last and flourish.
What I am not saying is that we apologize every moment of the day when we make a mistake. Every leader needs a dose of humility and a willingness to admit when they are wrong. Leaders who model this create a safe place for relationships to form that will set the tone for the church. The important, essential truths of Christianity (salvation, virgin birth, resurrection, eternity) should be firmly defended at all costs. I have had to say, "I was wrong, will you forgive me" a lot in my lifetime! The result of admitting wrongs will lead to closer relationships. Learning from mistakes and improving on future decisions is the most important part of growing as a leader. My prayer is that the petty disagreements that happen on a daily basis never take precedence over loving people and leading them into a growing relationship with Christ!