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.”