What they may not be telling you

You need to make sure that the information you receive is not filtered. That can be more difficult than it seems.

You have to make sure that your people understand that you want candid and straight information about your business. Such information is vital to you knowing your business and making good decisions.

The worst example of this is Jeff Immelt’s strong dislike for bad news at General Electric. He insisted on only hearing good news, what insiders named “Success Theater,” where overly optimistic projections did not match the realities of the business. Because of this, Immelt did not fully understand his own business and continued to tell the board and analysts that the company was strong and ready for growth. As a result, GE is in serious trouble. The company may be broken-up and the entire board could be fired. Immelt has already lost his job.

What do you need to do to make sure that you are getting clear and unvarnished information about all salient parts of your business?

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