1 min read

Calling Your Own Fouls


So many people, particularly, I think, CEOs and top executives, they get so planted in their old ideas, and they refuse or don’t have the courage to admit that they’re now wrong. Maybe the most underappreciated thing about Steve was that he had the courage to change his mind. And you know—it’s a talent. It’s a talent.

(Source: Business Week, Tim Cook’s Freshman Year: The Apple CEO Speaks)


On Saturday and Sundays (and sometimes Mondays), I play pickup soccer with a great group of folks. While we’re all out there having fun, and to get a little bit of exercise, there’s still a hint of competitiveness that keeps people coming back.

(The main reason people keep coming back, even at 6am when when the temperatures dip below freezing, are the organizers.)

Regardless of how competitive the games get, there is no referee to look at during a questionable foul. While it may seem counter-intuitive, it actually helps the flow of the game; the referee is not being judged, we are as players, because we call our own fouls.

The quote and article above reminded me of this. It’s admitting we were wrong, and moving on.

And it removes an element of the game that would likely cause something worse down the line. Revenge, aggressiveness, cheating, etc. Or, put simply, a loss of focus.

Realizing that you’re wrong doesn’t damage your credibility.

Continuing on, without acknowledging it, does.