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Bootstrap Leadership by Steve Arneson

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36Love the Numbers

Learn to Read Financial Statements

HERE’S A RIDDLE: What’s one aspect of leadership that some leaders absolutely love, some leaders hate, yet most leaders don’t know how to do properly? The answer is: reading financial statements! Which camp are you in? If you’re in Finance, you love financial statements, don’t you? This is your business; it’s how you keep score, right? Then there are the lines of business leaders who really hate to look at these statements in bad times because they’re full of some pretty ugly news. Yet most leaders don’t even know how to read financial statements, so they simply avoid them. I’m not referring to your department’s budget—that’s not that hard to read (even though it’s frequently outdated or just ...

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