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How being overly positive can get your in to trouble

 In Mindset

‘Two strong intelligent people, will always come up with a better solution than one , so long as ego doesn’t get in the way.’ Peter Scanlon.

businessmen shaking hands on background of city

A number of years back, in an Australian Financial Review article, I read this quotation by Peter Scanlon, former chairman of the Patrick Corporation. In the article, Scanlon was described as someone who could work with very strong people, without coming to ‘blows’.

‘Given enough eyeballs, (ie. enough people working on a problem) all bugs are shallow’. This quotation is from Ben Horowitz’s book, The Hard Thing about hard things.  The quotation is listed under the heading Why it’s imperative to tell it like it is.  

Horowitz, in the same section of the book, shares the importance of being trusted as a CEO. ‘As a company grows, communication becomes its biggest challenge.

If an employees fundamentally trust the CEO, then communication will be vastly more efficient than if they don’t. Telling things as they are is a critical part of building this trust.’

At the end of the ‘telling it like it is’ section, Horowitz gives a final thought. ‘If you run a company, you will experience overwhelming psychological pressure to be overly positive.

Stand up to the pressure, face your fear and tell it like it is’.

I share these quotations to follow up a recent post, ‘Executives. Are you deluded by positivity’.

Your CALL to action/HOW to apply for this post:

Reflect on the above quotes. Ask yourself, ‘Do I let my ego get in the way of solving a problem? Do I tell it like it is, even when the truth may be tough to hear?

On a 1-10 scale (1) low, (7) high, what number would my direct reports nominate for how much they trust me?

I suggest that you consider buying Horowitz’s book. It’s the best leadership book I’ve read in recent memory.

Check out this post on how to better assimilate into Australian business culture.

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