Should a leader make mistakes?

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On the student hub, we have been discussing about the situation in the UK where several of the UK's most recent prime ministers have resigned because of the mistakes they made. Liz Truss resigned after she made a mistake and people said they couldn't trust her anymore. Boris Johnson resigned after breaking one of the rules he made during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Should leaders make mistakes?

Nobody is perfect. In my opinion, leaders are humans and it is normal for humans to make mistakes but when they make a mistake they should apologise sincerely and learn from their mistakes so that they never repeat the same mistakes again. Leaders need to understand that they are in very sensitive positions. They should not be allowed to cut corners and overlook their own laws just because they are holding political positions. They should obey their own laws. They cannot be exempted from their own laws because that is diabolical.

What should be the attitude of citizens towards leaders when they make mistakes?

There is a popular saying, "To err is human but to forgive is divine". I think citizens should forgive leaders when they make mistakes and they apologise and are willing to learn from their mistakes. We should not beat up leaders for the mistakes that they have made. But I do not think that applies for all instances...

Taking the example of a leader who makes a mistake of not giving feedback on a particular issue and he/she apologises and another example of a leader who has had an argument with the president of another country and out of anger decides to start a war with that country and the many lives are lost then afterward, the leader comes to apologise to the citizens after making a mistake that caused many lives.

The gravity of the mistakes are different. I feel the first is less severe than the second. In such a case I don't think the two should be forgiven equally. The second offense is more severe so the leader should be made to suffer some penalties. This does not mean that an offense such as the second one should not be forgiven. It should but there has to be other penalties for that leader as a form of deterrent because leaders need to learn that they occupy sensitive positions and that cannot be taken lightly.

In my opinion, penalties for mistakes should be given according to the gravity of the mistakes made.

Comments (6)

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  • optimistic_dolphin | Adamson Middle School K | United States of America 08 Dec 2022

    I think that Leaders should make mistakes .But i also think that leaders should have trained or study enough for them to make stupid mistakes.
    Have you thought that leaders are perfect?Well yes ,I have but turns out there not actually.All leaders make mistakes because if they don't make mistakes they wont know right from wrong .(And that's for life)

  • Volunteer Icon James @ KPMG 08 Dec 2022

    Hi Amazing_Computer - That's an interesting argument. In many cases I think measuring the severity of impact (e.g. loss of life) is a good way to judge a mistake. For some cases I am not so sure. Do you think there are times when serious loss of life occurs through bad decisions or mistakes, where forgiveness is reasonable or not required?

    Equally many argue that in the UK example you looked at, the impact of Boris Johnson's mistakes were largely trivial (or at least made out to be), so what made his mistakes so serious that a resignation was required, and is that forgivable?

  • intuitive_drum | Maritime Academy | United Kingdom 09 Dec 2022

    As someone who's from and has lived in the UK my whole life, I think they should make mistakes but only little mistakes. Something small like mispronouncing a word instead of like, HOSTING A PARTY DURING A LOCKDOWN THAT YOU SET UP TO PROTECT US FROM THE VIRUS! Even after this, he was still our pm for another 2 years! So hopefully rishi sunak doesn't pull a Boris Johnson

  • mesmerising_redcurrant | Tarun Madhyamik Vidyalaya | Nepal 10 Dec 2022

    Life is a journey where you have to create you.leader is a person who commands a group, organizations,or country . People are not perfect.They does not know the everything in the world. They are just a creation of a god I think.
    Making mistake doesn't mean you don't know,it means you are trying . If you will make a mistake you will get a chance to improve . If you don't get a chance to improve your mistakes than how can you create you. It doesn't give a sense of life.
    No leaders should not make a mistakes because if he/she make a mistake then what others do .
    He /she has already make a mistake in their journey of life than only they named as a leader . By chance if they make a mistakes than we should have to give a chance to improve it because making mistakes is not a big thing making correction is a big thing.

  • conscientious_tradition | Lyons Hall Primary School F | United Kingdom 10 Dec 2022

    I think leaders should make mistakes! They can easily learn from them and make sure they won’t do it again! But on the other hand ,leaders should have common sense and be trained so you won’t make any mistakes! Obviously, no one is perfect but if you’re doing a big role you have got to be more prepared and be trained to not make a mistake!

  • jubilant_seagull | Mayflower Centre | Romania 12 Dec 2022

    We're only human, everybody makes mistakes. It's not about the mistakes you make but about the lessons you learn from them and how you grow to make sure these mistakes don't happen again in the future. To expect someone with such responsibility to be perfect would be crazy. The people I look up most are the ones who are honest and a good leader should be honest. Don't you agree?