If you’re leading a community and do something which reeks of favouritism, hypocrisy, or simply failing to live up to your community’s own standards, you’re going to find it very hard to regain the community’s respect.
Sure, the majority of members will continue visiting and participating as before. The majority of members don’t know who is in charge in the first place. But your top members, the ones who know the community best, they will notice.
Your top members will lose respect for you. Your top members will be less likely to participate, respond to questions, or help you in any way in the future.
One acquaintance recently found herself in this position. But, as she kept telling me, there was a loophole in her community’s terms and conditions which let her take the actions she did. So ‘technically’ she did nothing wrong.
She had a simple choice. She can keep her pride, refuse to admit any wrongdoing, and lose her community’s respect. Or she can clearly state she was wrong, apologise, and work with her community to take the necessary steps to rectify the problem.
If you’re truly committed to your community, you will do what’s best for your community in these situations – especially if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong.
That’s something you can be proud of.