My former boss—a mentor that presided over my entrance into management—recommended Jack Welch's Winning and it really resonated with me. His injunction to "face reality, not as it was or as you wish it to be" is great business advice.
(It's similarly great advice on a personal level as well. Having a false sense of self leads to the erection of defense mechanisms like rationalization of ones foibles or flaws. At worst, it leads to evasion: the refusal to think.)
How many businesses or industries have failed because they didn't adapt to changing conditions. Wishing things were different is not a strategy: hope cannot pay dividends. The best businesses are ones that abandon unprofitable lines or innovate even in their dominant products.
At Go Daddy, our new CEO recently covered this subject to great effect with his notion of "the table." We were rightly proud of our positive traits, but we rarely discussed our negative aspects—the behaviors that were holding us back. So long as they remained "under the table" we could not and would not change them.
Bringing that up at the CEO level in a companywide Town Hall meeting was the best thing that could have happened. The future of the company has never been brighter and the latest marketing efforts are but one example of that.
[The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of GoDaddy.com, LLC.]