My father-in-law was a quiet man of few words but resounding in his ability to speak through actions. He would sit quietly in a room with us listening to all the conversations. When someone mentioned a need, regardless of how subtle, his first thought was toward how he could help. One night, my wife and I mentioned needing folding chairs for the party we were having the following weekend. By the time we left that evening, the chairs were already in our van. He acted without notice or needing praise.
While sharing a bag of licorice with my mother-in-law, she reveled in the flavor and the memories licorice brought back. She talked about the good times and the struggles that came with a marriage. Then she looked at a piece of licorice and said, “Whenever he was wrong, there was licorice on the table in the morning.” For a man of few words even the words, "I’m sorry", could be tough to say. When he struggled to say them, he left a bag of licorice instead. It was his olive branch...his peace offering. For a man who believed himself not gifted with words, he was blessed with the power of action.
Business is about people and action. It’s about families. It’s about personalities and conflicts. It’s about trust and mistakes and making up for those mistakes. And it’s about the simple gesture of saying two words, “I’m sorry” once in a while. And when those words are too difficult or don’t seem to be enough, follow them with action. Find your way to let others know you are sorry and you truly mean it. Others will find you authentic and they will be willing to follow you.