Chapter 4Apology Not Accepted

I attribute my success to this—I never gave or took any excuse.

—Florence Nightingale1

Mission Statement

As soon as we worry about you, your impact and credibility disappear!

We’ve all heard it time and time again—it could be at the beginning of a critical one-on-one conversation or a formal presentation—the most damaging four words one can speak: “Please bear with me.” That misplaced disclaimer will color everything that follows. Although we all speak and listen with vested self-interest, the fact of the matter is that no one is going to be influenced by anything you say or do if you make it about you. Sympathy is fleeting, and when you appear weak or helpless, your skills to persuade and drive action immediately ...

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