Sticking to the Plot

July 09, 2006

Sticking to the Plot

Researchers’ Doug Randall and Paul Shoemaker of Wharton found that executives spend 65 percent of their resources managing internal uncertainty and 35 percent managing external uncertainty such as industry shifts and marketplace change. Balancing internal and external patterns makes the CEO job nearly impossible because the search for equilibrium is never complete. While worrying about internal problems, the entire marketplace sneaks up on most of us and shifts to the left. The key is to never lose the plot as BP’s Lord John Browne says. Here’s his words of wisdom:

“My biggest mistake was to worry about things in too much detail and losing the picture once in a while. I always say to myself that the most important thing is never to lose the plot. No quarter passes with perfection. No year passes with perfection. The real question is: Are you sticking to the plot?”

Hope he is thinking of his own advice as his reputation faces increasing scrutiny over the troubled Texas City Refinery explosion, safety issues in Alaska and other assorted problems that have risen lately.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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