When the Inevitable Surprises Occur...Are You Ready to Diffuse the Situation with the Right Questions?

Terry J. Fadem

CEO: Earl, can we count on you to reduce the cost of your operations by 20 percent?

Earl: If that’s what you want, you’ll have to do it without me.

CEO: Earl, did you just resign?

Earl: Yes.

The conversation is a short version of a longer story—a true one. No one was prepared for Earl to resign. He was the Chief Information Officer of the corporation. I’m not certain whether Earl was prepared to resign before the discussion had taken place, but I am certain that the CEO was taken by complete surprise. Would you be prepared to deal ...

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