In a past article, BBC News announced that the Dublin-based Ryanair was voted the worst of Britain’s 100 biggest brands by readers of a consumer magazine.
Reacting to this, the founder and owner of the largest low-cost airline in Europe, Michael O’Leary, told shareholders that many complaints of the clients are valid and could have been solved without significantly affecting the profits.
Mr. O’Leary then proceeded to make an incredible statement: “I am very happy to take the blame or responsibility if we have a macho or abrupt culture. Some of that may well be my own personal character deformities.”*
I could not believe my eyes. To have such an astute and aggressive businessman making a public statement and, in no mild or diplomatic words, taking personal responsibility for the widespread influence of his “personal character deformities” shocked me. It led me to start a process of searching my own character flaws and unchristian motives and tracing my contribution to the failures of my family, church, and organizations I am part of.
“You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it; you find mercy by admitting and leaving them” (Prov. 28:13, The Message).
* “Ryanair’s O’Leary to End ‘Abrupt Culture’” BBC, September 20, 2013, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24177834.