Last week, LeBron James made the news when he yelled at teammate Mario Chalmers during the game. He was furious about a play that went poorly and the video of the incident showed how unhappy he was. What was brilliant about this whole incident was what LeBron said later. He uttered three of the most important words great leaders need to know how to say. What were they?

“I was wrong.”

As my friend Scott Williams wrote once, “Great leaders are willing to challenge the king and great kings
want to be challenged.”

The only way to kill an “Emperor without clothing” culture is to make sure the king can be challenged. Few things kill a team like a yes culture, where the only thing the king (or queen) is ever told is “yes.” Great leaders know they will make mistakes and when they do, they’re not afraid to say those three important words: I was wrong.

Question: Have you ever worked for a leader who wouldn’t say, “I was wrong?”