When leaders really know they are being lied to, why don’t they call the lie? Why do they allow excuses and symptom discussions to prevent addressing the clearly visible problems that need to be faced?
Look at Greece and the New York Times article on the ongoing lies about Greek financial results titled The Denials That Trapped Greece. If Greek politicians were CEOs or C Level executives lobbying to hide and water down disclosure, the press would be up in arms and there already would have been scores of lawsuits filed.
The article stated that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fairly easily found most of the truth about Greece several years ago and was going to issue an accurate factual report, while there was still plenty of time to have done something to face up to the issues and admit that Greece had a problem. After political pressure, a watered down report was issued and political leaders kicked the can down the road hoping it would explode on someone else.
Why did all the players underestimate dangers that seem obvious in hindsight? And how could they have continued to mislead the world, instead of fixing the issue? You probably believed those leaders who said they were willing to eat their peas.
Now convert what you probably are calling reprehensible leadership into your industry, even your company. Ask and truthfully answer the following question. Why are executives ignoring major risks or issues that can cost them their companies?
Answers may include comments like the following points.
It is the economy, stupid! Executive plates (at the top and middle levels) are full after downsizing and turnover. The general consensus is that they have no time to address or take on any more issues.
Beware of the Ides of March. Some leaders admitted that they are wary of the political climate of their companies and are unwilling to take on issues that are politically loaded. In a nutshell, job security is the top priority for everyone.
Accountability is a loaded gun. Many executives admit that it’s one thing to bring to light the major issues or risks the company is facing. But it is a whole new ball game taking responsibility to solve the problems. The modus operandi seems to be, Not on my watch.
What additional points would you make based on what you have seen in your experience? Which of those avoidance techniques have you seen recently, even in your own company? What blind spots should be clearly visible if someone, anyone would step up to the plate to answer them?
Greece has been around for thousands of years. It will survive as a country. A lot of bondholders will get badly burned. A lot of Greeks will lose jobs, have their quality of live dramatically reduced, and there will be more riots.
Yet who will bail out Acme Manufacturing or your company here in the United States? No one will. Maybe you need to step up to the plate or get an independent outsider to come in and tell the truth while you still have enough time to solve the problems most of you are just hoping will go away until someone else has to solve them.
Bottom line? – Find Your Million Dollar Blind Spot Opportunities to Accelerate Correct Fiscal Leadership Decisions!
Nurture Financials – Avoid Disaster! Helping your company become fiscally fit and make you more money. THE NUMBERS WILL NOT SCARE YOU WHEN YOU LEARN TO apply this information to improve your fiscal management, profitability, re-engineer business models, and strengthen or gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.