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Denial : Why Business Leaders Fail To Look Facts In the Face – and What To Do About It

Richard S. Tedlow
Richard S. Tedlow


Explore Why Smart Leaders Unwillingly Facing The Harsh Facts & Act Dumb

ISBN 9781591943139
Author Richard S. Tedlow
Book Condition BRAND NEW
Publication Date 4/3/2010
Pages 272
Weight 0.5 kg
Dimension N/A
Availability: 2 in stock

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2 in stock

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This Highly Acclaimed International and New York Times bestseller in hardcover edition is a bran-new book and nicely wrapped with protective book-wrapper. The original new book is sold at usual price RM110.17 (Hardcover). Now here Only at RM20.

Noted that the rear cover page has the price-tag removal scratch mark which has been covered by the green sticker.
(Refer to attached photos)

“In this absorbing study, Tedlow makes the case that the willingness to face harsh facts is what distinguishes great leaders from merely adequate ones. A must-read.”
–Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

An astute diagnosis of one of the biggest problems in business

The Harvard Business School professor and author of Andy Grove reveals the sources and consequences of denial in business, citing numerous examples from top organizations while identifying leadership skills for recognizing and countering harmful denial behaviors.

Denial is the unconscious determination that a certain reality is too terrible to contemplate, so therefore it cannot be true. We see it everywhere, from the alcoholic who swears he’s just a social drinker to the president who declares “mission accomplished” when it isn’t. In the business world, countless companies get stuck in denial while their challenges escalate into crises.

Denial is also the unconscious belief that a certain fact is too terrible to face and therefore cannot be true. It turns challenges into crises, dilemmas into catastrophes. It’s the single greatest obstacle business leaders face.

Harvard Business School professor Richard S. Tedlow tackles two essential questions:

➽ Why do sane, smart leaders often refuse to accept the facts that threaten their companies and careers?

➽ And how do we find the courage to resist denial when facing new trends, changing markets, and tough new competitors?

Tedlow looks at numerous examples of organiza­tions crippled by denial, including Ford in the era of the Model T and Coca-Cola with its abortive attempt to change its formula. He also explores other companies, such as Intel, Johnson & Johnson, and DuPont, that avoided catastrophe by dealing with harsh realities head-on.

To answer the above 2 questions, Tedlow takes a fresh look at examples of people and organizations crippled by denial including:

● Henry Ford refusing to admit what he could clearly see outside his window – that car buyers were becoming interested in style, not just substance;

● Coke disastrously changing the formula that had made it great, ignoring the true value of its brand and its longstanding relationship with its customers;

● Internet entrepreneurs and investors embracing pie-in-the-sky business plans that defied the laws of economics.

Tedlow highlights strategies the best leadets use to face hard facts and turn challenges into opportuniies. He shows how companies like DuPont, intel and Johnson & Johnson were able to acknowledge harsh realities about their products, markets, and organizations, and use that information not only to avoid catastrope, but to achieve greatness.

Finally, Tedlow identifies common signs of denial to look for in your own company, such as using jargon to mask trouble, or focusing on glitzy new headquarters rather than the changing demands of the marketplace.

Tedlow identifies the leadership skills that are essential to spotting the early signs of denial and taking the actions required to overcome it.

Denial will always be with us , but some people are particularly skillful at battling it. This book will help you to become one of them.

Author and Harvard business administration professor Tedlow also asserts that “denial goes hand-in-hand with short-term thinking,” a problem that arises when a business “that once might have focused on getting the job done now is concerned with getting done with the job.”

The history of industry is rich with such cases, a number of which Tedlow examines with thorough understanding of both business and psychology: the initial brilliance of Henry Ford’s Model T assembly lines gave way to significant setbacks when they failed to take the threat of Europe’s radial tires seriously; the “great” grocery chain A&P was sunk by executives who “celebrated the statistics they liked.” Tedlow also surveys the “edifice complex,” in which struggling but respected companies erect monuments to themselves (like the Sears Tower) rather than tackling real challenges.

Contrasting successes include tenacious DuPont, Intel’s chief truth-seeker Andy Grove, and Johnson & Johnson, which faced almost insurmountable challenges head-on during the toxic Tylenol crisis.

Tedlow discusses ways to overcome the denial inherent to human nature as well as the institutional variety, cautioning against “yes” men, the vocabulary of euphemisms, and trash-talking the competition: “What am I using this derision to hide-perhaps from myself?”

“Richard Tedlow blends historical rigor with practical insights useful to today’s leaders—a rare and wonderful combination. His huge lesson—that the seeds of tragic demise are almost always visible, if only leaders would face them square-on—should terrify any successful person.”
–Jim Collins, author Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall

About Author:

Richard S. Tedlow is the Class of 1949 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the author of Giants of Enterprise (one of BusinessWeek’s ten best books of 2001) and The Watson Dynasty.

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