Grace is a trait not often extolled in today’s business world. I read an internal blog at work yesterday by a manager who said, “If you had to list the key characteristics of leadership, grace probably would not top the list.” It didn’t even get consideration when I started writing down my list of leadership principles. It never entered my mind. I believe now, though, that not only should it be on the list, it should be a the top.

Leadership Principle #1 – Grace

Her blog led me to two good articles. One by Ray Blunt on related the importance of grace to leaders allowing themselves to make mistakes, “…when failure comes, as it will, learn from it and give yourself the grace to get back on the road again.” “Otherwise, the load of responsibility becomes too great or we become too timid to ever make a mistake again.”

The other by Dr. John C. Maxwell in the March issue of Leadership Wired goes further with the idea. He says, “Leaders who accept the faults of others earn a reputation for being likable and worthy of respect. In tune with their own flaws, such leaders are more patient and understanding when those around them fail. While holding other accountable for their actions, graceful leaders demonstrate [a] willingness to help others learn from mistakes, and they are open to granting others a second chance.”


“Secure leaders recognize their faults and bear the fruits of others, and the poise and patience of a gracious leader will be rewarded with the respect of those they lead.”

Before anything else, a leader must have grace. This is something I recognize in myself as an area that needs work. It is difficult for me to accept my mistakes and those of others.

What do you think? Is grace, as some may say, a sign of weakness or admirable?

(picture by Warein Holgado)

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