Virginia Bianco-Mathis
University professor, author

Virginia Bianco-Mathis

Business department chair of management programs at Marymount University and author of two books on executive coaching.

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Ignore the man behind the curtain

The first thing I would do differently is tell the whole truth, the one truth and nothing but the truth for a very simple reason: It will all come out eventually anyway, so why do a "Nixon" and let the pain drag on for years while momentum builds against you?

Executives who think they can hide the truth in such highly publicized cases are simply deluding themselves. The courts can get every email and every other document which demonstrates your culpability.

The better approach is to "take full responsibility" and let the pain happen all at once regarding your negligence. Sure it will be stunning, but once the shock wears off, the political heat will subside and BP can get back to business quicker.

Also, Hayward should be handing out money to the locals in Louisiana as fast as possible in order to placate them. Seeing angry, unemployed shrimpers on television news constantly is not doing BP any good and simply gets politicians on your case even more.

Often when I consult, gather data, and then present that data to executives, they say, "Well, we can't share this with the employees." What? The employees are the ones who said this! The notion of hiding the truth is such an interesting phenomenon that some leaders pick up along the way. Actually, I don't think it is something they pick up. Rather, it is something they lose--their integrity.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis  |  May 20, 2010; 11:29 AM ET  | Category:  Comeback attempts Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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