A recent study and fieldwork suggest that a propensity toward feelings of guilt -- as seen in actions and colleagues' perceptions -- is an indicator of emerging leaders, writes David Burkus of LDRLB, an online think tank. Guilt is different from shame in that such budding leaders seek to make amends after mistakes instead of withdrawing, blaming or covering up. "The most constructive response is typically to embrace the guilt, take responsibility and work to fix the problem," Burkus writes.

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