I’ve known a number of people who share this belief. Now it has even been spelled out as one of the many rules of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the protagonist in NCISD, a television program started in 2003 which has been one of the top five shows for the last nine years. It would be unfortunate if Mr. Gibbs’ position as a highly competent investigator and team leader were to give credence to this completely ridiculous notion. The title idea is useful only to wimps with big egos as justification for their refusal to take responsibility for their actions.
The truth is, it is NOT the apology that makes you look weak. It is doing something stupid and/or harmful to others in the first place that makes you look like an idiot. And don’t think, when you discover you have erred, that you can slide on by before others notice. The perpetrator is seldom the first, and in many cases is the last to realize that a mistake has been made. Often, everyone else has been laughing at you behind your back for weeks by the time you realize you goofed. You would be delusionally arrogant if you thought the people around you needed your permission to recognize the folly of your efforts.
Contrary to what these people would have you believe, recognizing, admitting, and correcting mistakes is part of the growth process and can be considered an important step toward maturity. Mr. Gibbs, then, can only be considered a talented and effective leader in spite of his emotional issues, not because of them. At least that’s the way I see it. Let me know it there is a better way of looking at this.