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The environment is riper than ever for calamitous unforced errors:

1) LONG HOURS, LESS SLEEP: According to a 2018 Harvard Business Review study, CEOs work a punishing average of 62.5 hours a week. Gallup found that on average, salaried workers are toiling five more hours per week than full-time hourly workers (49 vs 44). The Sleep Institute says more than one-third of adults sleep less than the needed seven hours per night.


2) LESS PEOPLE: About 28% of Americans were laid off in the past two years. 400,000 people were laid off in the tech industry alone during that period. Which leads to…


3) FEAR: Because of those layoffs, people would very much like to keep their jobs. So the last thing they’re going to do is tell the CEO “Your idea sucks.”

4) WEAK GUARDRAILS: Smaller head count means not enough bandwidth, cohesiveness, and cultural diversity to stop mistakes and bad ideas from getting through.


5) E-MAIL/MOBILE PHONES: Documents, screenshots and videos can be easily posted online and forwarded outside a company.


6) POLARIZING POLITICS: According to The Eurasia Group, the world’s number one risk in 2024 is “The United States vs. itself.” With special interest groups and partisan media on outrage hyperdrive, stepping on a landmine is easier than ever before.

7) DESIRE TO BE FUNNY: If you plan to do something where part of the end strategy is to say, "we were only joking," scrap it immediately.


8) COOLER HEADS DON’T PREVAIL: If a CEO is upset or emotional, nothing stands between them and the X app on their mobile phone, day or night.

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