Who is polishing your lamp, Luke? a Lesson about Apologising!

Luke What a cheek! Luke Watson using the media and stating that he is not available for selection, is not just cheeky, it is brazen and an insult, and who ever advised him to say that, needs advice themselves.

By now I thought he would have at least apologised for his statements. Instead he has constantly spoken about the fiasco as a transformational issue.

Come on, who is advising this guy? I saw a cartoon many years ago about Florence Nightingale that said: “Florrie, if you need help in polishing your lamp, be careful who you get to do that polishing’’

Who is polishing your lamp, Luke?

One article said that he had resorted to deep thought and prayer. Has he been listening?

In Crisis Communications, the art of the humble apology is an important one. While crisis communications largely remains a case-by-case practice, the author Laurence Barton writes in the book, crisis leadership now that there are two essential immediate steps both individuals and companies should always use to control the media storm during a scandal.

1. Come clean. Issue a statement admitting to wrongdoing and accepting full responsibility (assuming the allegations are true, of course).

2. Apologize. Sincere acts of contrition can go a long way in getting back into the good graces of the public and media.

Every crisis must be handled differently, but in every crisis there should be a party accepting blame, and that party should apologize* for being the cause of that blame. The end result – The Company’s or person’s integrity and reputation must be maintained at all cost. Who said so: Warren Buffett and David Glass, CEO of Wall- Mart!

The problem is that apologizing does not come easily. The starting point of any reputation recovery process is a believable apology.

According to Wharton marketing professor Lisa Bolton, three key components ensure that an apology will work:

1. The CEO must deliver the message,

2. A solution to a problem must be outlined (Like a product recall process) and;

3. Some remuneration should be in place.

The initial response is the most important,” she says. “The general advice is to admit mistakes and try not to be defensive. Get out in front of the story. Get your admission and mitigation out there as well, and consider financial compensation. Also, customize your response in relation to the magnitude of the failure.”

So here we are, down the road …No apology, but a cute media release, declaring himself unavailable, still citing the same transformational reasons.

Come on – Luke and advisors, do you honestly think a media release, is going to restore relationships with spectators, team mates and little boys who dream to play for their country?

So you were upset about family issues! So you want to be your own man. But let’s be fair and direct here.

Nelson Mandela has been forgiving in his behavior, words and actions. Why not you?

Here is a story that may illustrate what I am saying: There were two priests travelling together. One was old and the other young. On the way, they came across a shallow river.

A young ravishingly beautiful lady was sitting by the side, waiting for help to cross the river. The old priest without hesitation lifted her up in his arms and carried her over the river. Seeing this, the young priest was much agitated.

Once on the other side, he rebuked the elder, questioning his morals, values, etc. This went on frequently, every half an hour. Finally, after two hours of putting up with this, the elderly priest remarked: ” Son, I have put her down back at the riverside, why are you still carrying her?”

Now is that not a lesson to start thinking about apologising?

Unless of course, you want to be carrying the burden forever…..