Not much of an ability, in all reality.  To err is human, after all.  EVERYONE you have ever known or will know is wrong seemingly countless times in the course of their lives.  I won’t get into the specifics of what “wrong” is as that’s a long philosophical journey which I haven’t seen the end of yet.

For the sake of discussion, being wrong here means choosing to do something deliberately that is not the optimal situation given an objective.

We are all wrong quite often and when all the cards are on the table, you’d be hard pressed to argue with that.  Being wrong is just part of life.

In business, there are hierarchies of authority which often lead us to bend opinion into what is right or wrong.  People who have gained power in positions of authority are given the right to judge what is the best decision. This is a good thing in most organizations, we need people to make a decision and choose a path to go down.

Where we are led astray is when those people are not willing to admit to being wrong.  Many people in the world, not only in businesses or other organizations, are absolutely adamant about their position once they’ve made a decision.  They can’t be argued out of that position.  The mentality seems to be that if you entrench yourself and never give an inch of ground regarding your position, you are guaranteed victory.  That’s an incorrect assumption, but it doesn’t stop people from having the though process.

Their ego has overtaken their sensibility. They are no longer thinking objectively, but trying to defend their position at any stakes necessary in order to maintain their “rightness.”  I have a feeling that mentally this is not only a subconscious ego manifestation, but a conscious understanding that being wrong too many times could threaten their ultimate fate.

I also believe that some people think by always being “right,” regardless of actual outcome, they will impress peers or people they lead.  After all, why would someone follow someone who is wrong and openly admits to it?

They follow because they know what’s right.

It’s very easy to be wrong, no one is above it.  But to be wrong and be confident in your own person such that you can admit it and change a decision or even apologize if the situation warrants it is quite atypical.

It sets you apart as a leader because people want to trust you and your decisions.  People will not trust someone who blindly makes decisions and defends them to the death even when they are obviously not in the right.  They will lose patience and trust in those scenarios.

So the ability to be wrong is actually a pretty good ability after all.  Hopefully you’re “right” far more often, but when not, accept it and learn from it.