By | Gustavo Razzetti | www.theladders.com
“It’s unbelievable how much you don’t know about the game you’ve been playing all your life.” — Mickey Mantle
The most important role of a leader is to face reality.
Understanding what lies ahead is critical to making the right decisions. Accepting reality requires to remain open to new information — especially the one that challenges what we know for sure.
Avoidance doesn’t make issues go away — sugarcoating the truth only makes them worse. Surprisingly, denying reality is the main reason CEOs get fired. A team can only solve the problems they talk about.
Denial Is dangerous
“The health of an organization is measured by the lag time between when you feel it and discuss it.” — Joseph Grenny
Freud referred to denial as “the state of knowing but not knowing.”
I see this all the time when coaching teams — people know what’s wrong at their organization but they act as if they didn’t. Fear and lack of support have turned everyone silent — rather than speaking up; they operate in denial.
Defense mechanisms help us survive losses or dramatic news. We deny something terrible happened because we can’t accept it to be true. If data is showing our business is having problems, we tend to believe the information is incorrect — we are not wrong, the data is.