Mark nodded, head-bob up and down. “It would seem very different for us to talk about performance issues in the executive management team. I am not even sure how I would start.”

“Why don’t you start with yourself?” I asked. “I am absolutely certain there are some shortcomings in the company that you can own, where you could have made a different decision, or handled something in a different way. Why don’t you start with yourself?”

“I suppose if I can’t think of something, you will say that I am in denial,” Mark replied.

My turn to nod. “We are often in denial. The sooner we confess to a problem, especially our contribution to a problem, the faster we can get on with solving it, learning from it, avoiding it in the future.” I stopped. “So, think about a decision you made that was hasty, not thought through well enough, that now, with 20-20 hindsight, you can clearly identify as bone-headed. What would it sound like to ask for feedback from your executive team?

“I want you to think about something,” I continued. “When your team makes a bone-headed decision, it costs pennies. When you make a bone-headed decision, it can cost millions.”

3 thoughts on “Bone-headedness

  1. Gail Boenning

    “Well… Tom sure threw us a handful of peanuts to chew on today,” Thalia said.

    “With or without shells?” asked Cal.

    “Without.” Urania set her glasses on the table. “The first thought that came to mind is the title of Jerry B. Harvey’s book… How Come Every Time I Get Stabbed In The Back, My Fingerprints Are On The Knife.”

    “Typist really needs to get her own copy of that book,” Cal mused. “I was thinking of vulnerability. If the manager opens up… he makes space for his team to do the same. Create an environment where mistakes are acceptable — provided you are willing to learn and grow.”

  2. Christopher

    This blog is right on the money! It starts with us. I will do better in listening and directing my team this new year!


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