Excerpt from Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work (Chapter Three; “The Dread POETS Society”)

“We go back far enough together for me to know just what leadership you’re capable of,” Harold said. “I don’t know how you’ve lost your way. I’m going to tell you this as a friend as much as a colleague, but it’s disappointing to see you in this state. For your own sake and ours, you’ve got to get back on track.”

“I’m not that guy anymore,” Pete mumbled. “Now I am just going along to get along. If we lie low long enough, this too shall pass. Assuming the company makes it through this rough patch – and that I do too – I’ve got about seven or eight more years until my pension kicks in. I’ll still be young enough to move on and do what I really want to do. The truth is, I can’t afford to do anything at this point to jeopardize my job.”

“As a specialist in learning disabilities, I have found that the most dangerous disability is not any formally diagnosable condition like dyslexia or ADD. It is fear. Fear shifts us into survival mode and thus prevents fluid learning and nuanced understanding. Certainly, if a real tiger is about to attack you, survival is the mode you want to be in. But if you’re trying to deal intelligently with a subtle task, survival mode is highly unpleasant and counterproductive.”
Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform, Edward M. Hallowell, Harvard Business Review, January 2005, page 58

“Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.”
Baltasar Gracian

“What I observed and what I wrote about in, When You Say Yes But Mean No, is the tendency to silence our differences…. that tendency undermines the very relationships that we are trying to preserve. And, it slows down the tasks we are trying to get done…. we all have had the experience of going to a meeting where we know there are issues but we sit around and don’t talk about those differences. We leave the meeting saying how proud we are that there is so much consensus, but behind closed doors we say, "What a waste of time. We didn’t deal with any of our issues… in the short run keeping silent does have a positive effect but most people don’t recognize the longer term costs of doing so.”
-“Leslie Perlow On Destructive Silence” interviewed by David Creelman at HR.com

“Many times, often with the best of intentions, people at work decide it’s more productive to remain silent about their differences than to air them. But as new research by the authors shows, silencing doesn’t smooth things over or make people more productive. It merely pushes differences beneath the surface and can set in motion powerfully destructive forces.”
-"Is Silence Killing Your Company?" Leslie Perlow and Stephanie Williams, Harvard Business Review

“He kept working me over until he got to the root of my problem with P&G, which was the bureaucracy. He said, ‘You’re running away. You don’t have the guts to stay and change it. You’ll run from the next job too.’ "That really ticked me off. I stayed. And from then on, every time something didn’t work, I spoke up. I realized that you can make a difference if you speak up and set your mind to changing things."

-Alan G. (A.G.) Lafley, Chair and CEO, The Procter & Gamble Company.
Commenting on when he tried to resign in frustration years ago after his boss tore up his resignation letter

“I would call lack of candor the biggest dirty little secret in business. Lack of candor basically blocks smart ideas, fast action, and good people contributing all the stuff they’ve got. It’s a killer.”
Winning, Jack Welch, with Suzy Welch