In life we take many decisions, some might turn out correct and others not so. However, it takes a strong individual to recognize not only internally but also publicly that a decision taken by him/her was off mark. Taking ownership and being accountable is about doing the right thing regardless of how difficult the same may be.
On June second of this year, Armando Galarraga, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, was one out from pitching a perfect game; something that is rare in major league baseball. However on the last out the first base umpire Jim Joyce ruled the runner safe, putting an end to Galarraga’s quest for a perfect game. Joyce believed he made the right call until he saw the replay for himself after the game; the replays showed the runner was clearly out and that Galarraga should have got credit for a perfect game. Joyce, the umpire, immediately went to the 28-year-old pitcher from Venezuela after the game and apologized for getting the call wrong.
Holy cow, backup, rewind… let me say that again. The umpire, Joyce, went and apologized for getting the call wrong. That is accountability in all of its purest glory folks!
And then Galarraga turned around and forgave him for blowing a call that cost him something he may never ever do in his career again; throw a perfect game. “He probably feels worse than me,” Galarraga said. “Nobody’s perfect. Everybody’s human. I understand. I give the guy a lot of credit for saying, ‘I need to talk to you.’ You don’t see an umpire tell you that after a game. I gave him a hug.”
Wow! I love it when people take accountability. And I love it when people forgive. Whether it is my kids, friends, umpires or leaders, I love watching people do the right thing because it is the right thing. Taking accountability for one’s actions builds huge trust dividends. Do you think feelings of trust and respect for Joyce have improved across Major League Baseball? Absolutely! It’s interesting how when we try not to cover up our pride we become people of character that others genuinely love and respect.