Don’t be the Black Knight

When someone on your team points out a weakness or a problem, how do you react?  Are you defensive? Do you spend hours trying to prove that it’s not really a problem?  One of the key flaws many organizations have in common is their inability to deal in the reality of their current situation.  “We’ve done so well in the past.  How could this really be happening?” or “Just give it time and it will work itself out. “

Jim Collins, in his best selling book Good To Great, identifies what he terms the Stockdale Paradox as follows:

“You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Please take a couple of minutes to watch the following video.  It’s one of my favorite Monty Python skits.  I’ll warn you in advance that it does contain some gory comedy but it serves as a good example of what can happen when you don’t confront the brutal facts of your current reality.

Inadequate cash flow, shrinking margins, negative customer feedback, declining sales….. These are not just “flesh wounds”. Don’t be the Black Knight. Only by identifying and acknowledging the brutal facts do you stand any chance of improving them. If you need assistance identifying or confronting the brutal reality in your organization, you can reach me by responding to this post or through the “Contact Us” tab.

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