Summary of Know What You Don't Know

How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen

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Know What You Don't Know book summary
The problems you don’t know about will sink your organization. Find them before they find you.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Sir Winston Churchill, Great Britain’s intrepid prime minister during World War II, was an amazingly perceptive leader. He was one of the first to warn of the military threat Germany posed prior to both world wars. How did he know? He routinely sought out rank-and-file members of the British military and low-level English government bureaucrats to find the truth. In the same way, you should dig deeply into your organization for unbiased, accurate information so you can detect problems before they turn into disasters. In his case-filled, albeit pretty much one-note, book, management professor Michael A. Roberto explains why finding problems is harder than solving them. He shows how danger hidden beneath the surface can present the greatest peril to your company. getAbstract recommends Roberto’s engaging book to managers at all levels. Spot those icebergs before they sink your business.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why it is crucial to find problems before they become catastrophes
  • How to use the seven best methods for detecting problems and
  • How to develop the mindset of a proficient “problem-finder.”


What Don’t You Know?
Most executives see themselves as “problem-solvers” when they should really be “problem-finders.” Ignorance about the crises you may face could lead to your biggest problems. Undetected, minor issues can turn into major disasters. Identify your concerns early, before...
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About the Author

Michael A. Roberto is a management professor at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. He is an expert on strategic decision making and senior management teams.

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