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Joe Marchese

Spot on, Bob. Let me add my thoughts from a recebt blog:

Bob Sutton

I accidentally published the above post twice. I deleted the repeat but wanted to preserve this comment from Christian Fey:

It is intriguing how people can be so blind to the idea that you may not be right. This is generally caused by two different factors: interest in gaining favor, or being pushed out by the asshole for being dissenting. The latter is clearly a leader enabled fault, but additionally, the former is as well. By not encouraging challenges to your views, you end up telling your subordinates that the way to gain your favor is to agree with what you say. This can be good when you know you're right, but obviously, you won't know when you're wrong until the s*** hits the fan and you ask, "Why did no one tell me this was a stupid idea?!"

Thanks Christian and sorry to delete your comment!

mark allen roberts

What you need to seek out as the new CEO is a “Heretic” as I share in my blog

I am often brought in to play this role as nothing will improve overall results faster than the Heretic focused on serving the market and challenging "how we do things around here"

Mark Allen Roberts

Fernando J. Grijalva

In this regards, Dr W. Edwards Deming stated that, "As a good rule, profound knowledge comes from the outside, and by invitation.  A system can not understand itself."


I really like that quote "You don't get information so much as sales pitches." It's kind of what the MUM Effect processes reports into: sales pitches.

Michael Dearing

I think this is right on. I also think that for very early stage ventures, the CEO needs to have an outside advisor who is also *not* an investor. At least one.

Derak Berreyesa

Just as all managers and employees should be looking to their network of peers for support so should CEOs. If a CEO has too much hubris, I can see them getting into situations that they can't handle on their own.

William Cunningham

It sounds like he may have (involuntarily?) surrounded himself with yes-men, who only worked to appeal to him in a classic attempt at cohesiveness. Nobody wants to be the bringer of bad news as there's a tendency to shoot the messenger, so of course employees will only talk about good things in order to win favor if the conditions are conducive to rewarding positive news and punishing negative news. He should have been a little suspicious when he was getting nothing but good news. This is where management fails, missing any sort of checks for group behaviors and intentional masking of company problems in order to maintain an attractive outward exterior. As far as he knew, the outside looked great, but the company was rotting from the inside without proper managerial support.

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