Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Quote of the Day (Colin Powell, on Bad News)

“Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age.”—Former Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell (with Joseph E. Persico), My American Journey (2010)

This should be the management mantra of our time, but sadly it isn’t. Many CEOs don’t want to hear dissent and are ready to exile upper-level executives who question any aspect of their playbook. When a problem develops, nobody wants to deliver the bad news—until the situation is too late.

And so it has become in national politics, with the nation’s President (yes, a former CEO) has steadily resisted the bearers of bad news. In his mind, “I alone can fix it.” See where that’s gotten us…

(The image accompanying this post is the official portrait of Gen. Powell as the Secretary of State, taken by the Department of State in January 2001.)

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