Vannoy and Ross


There once was an important man who ran a warehouse business. After decades on the job, he determined he knew everything there was to know about the people in the company. He knew who to communicate with, whom to go to when he needed to get a job done. And he knew who he could trust.

Year after year he made decisions based on the information he had. For instance, he knew that everyone in the finance department had a one-word vocabulary: NO. Everyone in sales was GREEDY. Everyone in production was SLOW. Those in HR didn’t have a clue about how to run a business. And the techies and engineers in the organization were the same NERDS who drove him crazy in high school.

Even with all his experience and wisdom, one thing eluded this manager: success. This man coveted big, leave-a-legacy and be-a-benchmark-in-the-industry sort of success. Confused, he pondered, “What do I need to do to take the next step?”

Just then his phone rang. “Hello?” he answered. It was his manager calling – to report how difficult ‘the NO people’ in finance were making things…and how the sales people were putting unrealistic demands on him…and how production was slower than a snail…and…and…

“Can I call you back?” the man interrupted his manager. And he hung up. And then he stood up.

“That’s it,” he realized. “I’ve been making decisions based on information I have – and the only information I have is why people are jerks, why things won’t work, and all the reasons we can’t move forward faster.” He looked at himself in the mirror and continued, “I’m in the warehouse business, alright. I collect and store and dispense the same destructive information! And, because those around me know how I think about people and things that’s the only type of information they share with me. People who don’t feel the way I do don’t share information with me – and it’s their information and perspectives that I need to make better leadership decisions.”

He put his coat on and uttered, “I’ve been tricking myself into thinking I have the information I need. It’s time to get out of the warehouse business – and into the business of leadership.”

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