Making Mistakes

It is amazing how often people will make mistakes, and then continue along that path rather than admit their error and move forward. It happens to people in a variety of situations, for a variety of reasons. It happens in business, in politics, in personal situations. It is near universal.

As an example, in Ontario, the provincial tax, PST, is to be merged with the federal tax, GST, to create a new single tax, HST. The total tax is the sum of the two individual taxes. The idea behind the merge is that it would reduce the costs of administering the tax, thereby saving money without costing anyone more.

The flaw is that there are some items exempt from GST, but not PST, and vice versa. When the taxes merged, some of those items remained exempt, while others did not. Additionally, while in the long-run it might be more cost effective to have fewer taxes, there is a cost up front to convert systems over to the new tax rates.

However, despite people being quite vocal about the tax, and the fact that it would cost the end-consumer more, it was not until about 2 months before the tax took effect that the man behind the tax, Dalton McGuinty, admitted that it would, in fact, cost people more. At that point, he started talking about the personal sacrifice people would have to make (during possibly the worst recession in recent history). He held on to the false promise of saving money, until it just wouldn’t hold any longer.

This is typical of what happens when someone errs, and is not, as they say, man enough to admit the mistake.

I had a teacher in high school who would say it takes a big man to admit he made a mistake.

There’s nothing wrong with making a mistake, provided you have learned from the event. Admit the mistake, and improve yourself with it. Or continue to deny it, long after it’s clear that the mistake was made, and suffer the ignominy of the error.

What will you do the next time you realize you’ve made a mistake?