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After this column last month, a couple of correspondents implied that I had said it was OK to turn in a poor performance if the market conditions were less than stellar.

Not so! And if you got that from my column, I apologize.

I'll never forget the monthly CEO reporting meeting where one of my colleagues was using market conditions as an excuse for his division's poor performance. The CEO looked him in the eye and roared, "I didn't hire you to make excuses, I hired you to make your numbers no matter what is going on in the market."

At least I think he was looking him in the eye--the rest of us in the room were trying to distance ourselves and look anywhere else.

Yes, you are supposed to make your numbers no matter what is going on in the big, bad world. Only the CEO gets to make excuses when talking to analysts or stockholders.

Don't forget this important lesson.

Jim Thompson is CEO of Paperitalo Publications.


Get Jim Thompson's "Monograph on Purchasing." Available here.


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