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Turning Adversity Into Opportunity by James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner

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Strategy Number TwoDefy the Verdict

Max De Pree, former CEO and chairman of Herman Miller, says, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.”3 We agree. You have to tell the truth, regardless. It’s absolutely fundamental to your personal credibility.

People want to know the truth. The Pew Research Center for People and the Press asked people to indicate how they felt about economic news. One of the questions was, “Do you feel better knowing, even if it’s bad?” Eighty-five percent said yes, and only 15 percent said no.4

When an issue is directly relevant to their lives, people want to know even if the news is negative. And more, not less, communication about what is going on is critical during times of change and transition. ...

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