A recent issue of Fortune Magazine featured an article entitled: Five Business Myths To Ditch Now. The author, Verne Harnish writes, “There’s nothing like humbling times to force chief executives [and other leaders] to let go of the sacred-cow ideas and grandiose illusions they’ve been harboring… and start building on reality.”
The five myths – those sacred-cow ideas and grandiose illusions mentioned are as follows:
- Gross margins will grow as you get bigger. Examples prove that many times, just the opposite is true.
- Competitors are always unfriendly. Many examples prove that given the right attitude and approach, competitors can become excellent partners and participate in joint ventures that add significant value to all.
- You really know your market. Surprise… many examples prove most leaders don’t know their markets as well as they think. Many of the best, most radical and most profitable opportunities are first discovered or invented by outsiders, not “experienced insiders.”
- One size won’t fit all. Thousands of examples prove just the opposite… with higher margins and higher growth rates.
- As CEO [or leader], you know it all. There are millions of examples proving this myth is not only exits, but extremely dangerous. Many of your colleagues, particularly those closer to a specific area or function, know far more about that business that you do.
On the face of it, some leaders might argue that these five myths – these sacred-cow ideas and grandiose illusions are not as common as the author portrays. Common not so common, I invite you to the unvarnished reality of the marketplace. Many of these sacred-cow ideas and grandiose illusions drive millions of leaders, and many of their decisions, on a daily basis all across the world.
The article can be found in the January 17, 2011 issue of Fortune Magazine. The author comments and provides specific examples regarding each myth.
The obvious question is… are you and I leading based on one or more of these myths? If so, serious reflection and correction is in order.