Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face–and What to Do About It

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781591843917
  • 288 Pages
  • Portfolio
  • Adult


“Wise. Relevant. Riveting.” -Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

Denial is 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.

Now Harvard business School professor Richard S. Tedlow tackles two essential questions: Why do so many sane, smart leaders often refuse to accept and act on 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 highlights strategies the best leaders use to face hard facts and turn challenges into opportunities. His book will help you become one of them.


“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

“This lucid and scary history of our proclivity to deny uncomfortable truth is Richard Tedlow at his analytical best. But plan ahead before you pick it up. It is very hard to put down.”—Clayton M. Christensen, Author of The Innovator’s Dilemma

“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

“Tedlow’s book forces the business executive to ask: ‘Is this about me?’ If the answer is yes, you’ve got a problem. The stories presented here can help you work your way out of it.”—Suzy Welch, author of 10-10-10

“Tedlow’s book is a fascinating look at the phenomenon of denial. It’s a great explanation of why smart leaders act dumb, and what you can do about it.”—Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert

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