Letters from executives in newsletters are at the bottom of my list of favorite things. But never say never: In the 2007 Ragan Recognition Awards, a letter in the employee newsletter from Mark Wagner, EVP of store operations, that took the Award of Excellence in the CEO/Executive Letter category comes close to making me change my mind.
Wagner reveals two mistakes he made in his Walgreens career he’ll never forget. (Yes, an executive revealing mistakes – that’s what got my attention, too. And they’re real mistakes, not the I-thought-I-was-wrong-once-but-I-was-wrong variety.)
“Failure is the price we pay for success – but achievers bounce back. Here’s how I’ve learned to make the most of a bad decision.”
Then he gives three points – just three! – that are concise (the longest is 39 words) and no-nonsense. I love this one: “Don’t make excuses. If you find yourself developing a defense, it’s probably a good indication you screwed up.”
How refreshing. How well-written. Every executive should read it and take notice. Here’s a boss we all could work for with pride: Not only is he not afraid to admit he’s human, but he can write, too (or knows a good writer/editor when he sees one).