Back in 1993 Charles Barkley declared, “I’m not paid to be a role model.” He’s spent the last 17 years trying to prove himself right! I’m thinking the same thing right now because Ben Davol writing in the New London Day has tried to make me a role model.
Of my on-air apology of a few weeks ago he writes, “Can you imagine if our politicians decided to be as forthright and honest as Fox? ” He then produces a laundry list of pols basically saying, “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”
Truth is my public stand was taken after a very public forecast went bust… actually KABOOM! And unlike the politicians’ misdeeds he mentions which might harm us in small doses over time if at all, my error had an immediate impact on many lives. To me there was no choice but apologize.
The real shame is that apology in general is a big deal. One columnist, Charlie Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post, thought it lessened my continuing credibility. He said my right move would have been to “soldier on.” In other words make like it didn’t happen.
Charlie follows his own advice. I sent him an email about that column a week ago. He seems to be soldiering on.
We teach this act of contrition to our children and then forget it as adults. We all need to be more responsible for our actions. We all screw-up. We all need to apologize a little more.
In inviting your comments on this post I’d rather have them relate to the subject in general and not what I did. Apologies and responsibility are valid topics for discussion. Another pity party for me is more self serving than even I can take. – Geoff
4 thoughts on “What Charles Barkley And I Have In Common”
Internet technology is forcing everyone to be more honest and real – trust is the new currency.
Ben’s point is valid – when someone apologizes, like that weather guy he talks about, it’s about restoration of that trust. Ben wants pols to say “I messed up – I promise to do better next time, and you can hold me accountable”.
Maybe it’s an exercise in futility for politics, but people trust folks who hold themselves accountable.
Walsh is right – your credibility was further injured by your response – in the minds of people who vote by skin color, those who hate based on religion, etcetera – in short those who live in fear of anything different in their sad existence. Thankfully, Davol understands that we want to know the truth according to the facts as best known, as the best way to handle fear is to be able to trust.
On another note, good luck with our upcoming late week storm. No deja vu, please.
Apologies and credibility are interesting. I raised your example at a recent session that I attended about public speaking. There are good apologies and eroding apologies, according to this guy. Good apologies would be in the category of what you did, for they are on the substance. Bad apologies are about process- they draw more attention to the process mistake, and process mistakes are more likely to be forgotten. So, I guess the point is “Soldier on” if it’s process because you lose the strength of the podium- and “Apologize” if it’s about substance- and you mean it. (No fake apologies, according to this guy.) I thought that was interesting, don’t know if I buy all of it.
Anyone in a position where others are dependent on ones’ advice and commentary takes account the risk of possibly being wrong on occasion.
But without risk-takers, we would probably still be swinging from trees and there’d be no RUC (that rhymed_).
As for barkley, he proved that he was not a role model in one way- by not taking the risk to be a role model. that’s why he’s selling taco bell, and you’re trying to help organize a safe commute for the entire state. different levels of responsibility.