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Confronting Reality

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Confronting Reality

Doing What Matters to Get Things Right


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

If you're not changing with the times, denial may keep you and your company stuck in a dangerous fantasy world.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Authors Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan start with what you know: the business world has dramatically, irrevocably changed. Companies confront the new reality of globalization, free capital flows and powerhouse retailers. The book’s strength lies in its relentless insistence on a basic fact that business leaders know but have apparently been trying to deny: you must see the economic world as it really is. This is not new. You know the ground has shifted, but have you figured out everything that you need to do now? Most of today’s business models describe how companies made money in the past - but survival now requires more than a model based on the old economy. You need that elusive, intuitive attribute Bossidy and Charan call "business savvy." Even if they can’t quite seem to nail down a precise definition, their case studies illustrate how this super sense works, and why you need it. getAbstract recommends their book to managers and executives who want to learn how to rethink their businesses in today’s environment.


Sailing in a Fog to the New World

The leaders of many organizations fail to understand basic facts of life, such as what their organizations do, what they ought to do and the difference between the two. To achieve such an understanding, make the connections among the business environment, your financial objectives and your internal operations. You may be following a business model that has guided others to profitability, but no model is universally appropriate. Even the best models work only in particular situations. The environment has changed so radically for many businesses that their models are obsolete. To find out if your business is one of them, ask yourself:

  1. Can you spot change?
  2. Has the way businesses in your industry make money changed?
  3. Is your industry growing, shrinking or stagnant? Do you want to continue in it?
  4. Who is and isn’t making money in it?
  5. What distinguishes the winners? How are they turning a profit?
  6. Can you do what they are doing?
  7. How would you need to change?

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About the Authors

Larry Bossidy is the retired chairman of the board and CEO of Honeywell International. He and Ram Charan, DBA, also co-authored Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. Charan is a consultant, public speaker and author. His books include What the CEO Wants You to Know, The Leadership Pipeline and Boards at Work.

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