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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

I Was Wrong…

… and I apologize.

A few weeks ago I commented on Kevin Kline’s (Blog | @kekline) blog post entitled Why I Do Not Support The Current PASS ExeCo Slate. I commented more than once, but I am apologizing for the first comment. That was wrong and I know it. I broke at least a couple/three of my own rules for communication when I hit the submit button:

  1. Never send what I write when I’m upset.
  2. Be succinct but sacrifice conciseness for clarity.
  3. Criticize privately; praise publicly.

There is no acceptable excuse for my behavior. The comment was inaccurate and I retract it. It was stupid of me to write something that charged and release it publicly anywhere, even more stupid to inject it into that particular conversation on a popular blog – let alone one that belongs to my friend Kevin.

My goal is to help. My comment did not help. It accomplished anything but help. It shut down communication instead of facilitating it. That was bad and wrong.

I want to assure those who know me and those who do not that my frustration was not directed at any individual. It was solely limited to the context of ExeCo Slate – the topic of Kevin’s post. The PASS Board has taken several steps I support over the past year. I realize now that my criticism of PASS Leadership not going far enough has been misinterpreted by some to mean that I oppose much (perhaps all) of what the PASS Board does.

I created this perception. I own it. But this is not an accurate reflection of how I feel about the PASS Board.

How do I feel about the PASS Board? I believe the individuals that serve on the PASS Board begin with the best intentions for our community. Most people I know begin with good intentions. As in my case, some become frustrated when things don’t go the way they believe is best and that frustration sometimes spills over into less-than-ideal execution. Other times compromise occurs. In many instances, the options are limited to compromise or nothing (I will have more to say on this topic when I return to my series on Managing Teams…). Good people can disagree on all sorts of things. Inevitably, I am not going to agree with every decision the PASS Board makes, nor are they going to agree with mine. I don’t expect that to change. But I hope this apology restores mutual respect and reopens communication.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is to trust those who love me. How can I tell those who love me from those who don’t? They are willing to tell me when I’m being a bonehead. Proverbs 15:22 says there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. I believe that to be true. I am blessed with awesome counselors (friends). They have been patient in sharing my error with me the past few weeks. It hasn’t been easy for them. I resisted. And I’m good at resisting. Formidable, even. I exemplified the saying “You only hurt the ones you love.” Friends, you were right and I was wrong. Thank you for your willingness to continue patiently communicating with me until I figured that out. Thank you for your love.

I look forward to meeting many PASS Board members in person at the PASS Summit 2011 in a couple weeks. Communicating in person is a better, richer, and more lucid experience than communicating via the written word.


Published Friday, September 23, 2011 3:00 PM by andyleonard

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Roy Ernest said:

I looked at the blog. It was way too political hot for me. I try to keep away from hot politics. :-)

You apologized with this blog. That is a very public apology. I comment you on that. Not everyone does that. This will only raise the respect everyone have for you. I wish and hope that everyone follows your example. That is admit it that they are wrong when they are wrong and apologize like you did.

September 23, 2011 2:08 PM

Geoff Hiten said:

One of the hardest things to do in life is to state that you were wrong.  Your willingness to publicly re-examine your statements and positions in light of unchanging principles is one of the reasons I respect you as much as I do.  We all have bad moments.  It is how we deal with them that truly determines character.  You never lost my respect or friendship.  And I never stopped listening.

September 23, 2011 3:43 PM

Thomas LaRock said:


Thanks for sharing. I never felt you owed me an apology. You know I value your comments, no matter what the subject or topic.

See you in two weeks.


September 23, 2011 4:10 PM

Brian Moran said:

One day I hope to be wrong on something so I can write an excellent apology like this. Sometimes being perfect is no fun :)

September 23, 2011 6:43 PM

Derek Wharton said:

Thank you for quoting scripture!  Proverbs is a daily read for me.

September 23, 2011 7:50 PM

Jason Campbell said:

I wish more people would be willing to both say what needs to be said even when it's unpopular, and to apologize when they've gone wrong (including myself).

You've given encouragement, and some good example.


September 24, 2011 4:27 AM

Joe Fleming (@MuadDBA) said:


Thanks so much for writing this.  It was a pelasure to meet you in person recently and chat with someone who obviously cares so much about the community and puts as much thought into it as you do.  Looking forward to saying hi again in a couple of weeks.

September 25, 2011 3:06 AM

Jonathan Woodard said:

I can only echo the above sentiments that you've displayed exemplary courage in your admission and apology. Bravo! I hope to have the fortune of meeting you at the PASS Summit next month.

September 25, 2011 3:43 AM

aki said:

i am new to the sql community.....but in politics i am frank and blunt...and often expose elitism and personal status building ...but i think i will take your advise in order to build my career and start to shut up and make less enemies.  thank u fir the following:

"    Never send what I write when I’m upset.

   Be succinct but sacrifice conciseness for clarity.

   Criticize privately; praise publicly.    "

October 1, 2011 2:12 AM

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