It is not a sin to learn from mistakes and move forward.
It seems that many consider it a weakness to admit a mistake. Rather than use new information and do a course correction, some leaders double-down and refuse to even consider a change in direction. There is a perception that to be a strong leader you must never be wrong. I've seen this tendency in many recent leaders. Perhaps you know a few. Remember the story about the emperor who wore no clothes? <http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/Emperors-New-Clothes.htm>.
Sticking to your guns regardless, rather than being a strength, is sometimes a sign of weakness.
It is important to have a balance between when to make a stand and when to change positions. Sticking to either extreme is flawed -- it takes good judgement to "know when to hold them and know when to fold them". This is true in cards, it is true in stock trading, and it is true in life in general.
Two recent news stories demonstrate the importance and honor of learning and changing your position, even though it may surprise former allies and pit you against strong opposing forces. Sometimes you just need to do what is right rather than what is easy.
In the first case, Scott McClellan, a former White House press secretary under President George W Bush, discovered that he was mislead by the Bush administration to perpetuate lies. He documents this in the recently published book "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception." When he learned more, he changed his position from supporting the current administration as a strong loyalist to speaking out against these wrongs.
Please read the book and various news articles to learn more, in particular the New York Times article at:
In the second case, Massachusetts state Rep. Paul Kujawski went from opposing same-sex marriage to voting to allow it, despite major pressure from others. As he learned more about gays who wished to marry, he moved from a position opposing same-sex marriage to one willing to allow different strokes for different folks. Did allowing same sex marriage materially damage his own marriage? -- No. Did allowing it materially help others? -- Yes. So Paul left behind his former beliefs and reached a new, better informed position that allows more people more freedom in an area where it benefits those people and does not harm others.
Please read more in the San Jose Mercury News at:
When knowledgeable, well respected stalwarts flip sides, everyone should take note because this is not done lightly. Both men considered their respective situations carefully and thoughtfully before making their final decisions.
I am in a similar position with regard to freecycling. There was a time when I was a strong proponent of The Freecycle Network (TFN) and helped in many ways as an inside member of its core team. But when I realized that TFN had made some major mistakes that harmed many innocents, I was compelled by my sense of honor to do what was right rather than what was easy.
For details and references please see:
Luckily, I am not alone in my observations and trying to right wrongs. Many, if not most, of the original freecycling leaders likewise left TFN before, during, and after I left for similar or related reasons. These people include Nancy Castleman (original head of the modsquad forum), Judy Ruzich (original head of the GOAs), Pastor Ken Hedden, David Neeley, Karen Welliver, Charlotte Hess, Karen "caveguru" (original author of the TFN moderator manual), Elva Hesting, Rob Robertson, Robin Brown, Eric Snyder, Kelly, Deanna, Lorretta Woodbury, Eric Burke, Lynnie Jones, Cynthia Armistead, Linden R. Gibson, Nora Child, and many others.
Note that while I no longer support TFN, I (and these others) continue to strongly support freecycling.