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HP’s Dunn shunned outside advice

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Hewlett-Packard’s ex-chief Patricia Dunn needed one thing before she approved a surveillance program based on lying to obtain the phone records of HP board members and journalists: perspective.

She didn’t have it.

“What companies are looking for today are leaders who have not only expertise, but also world-class judgment,” says Susan Stautberg, head of a firm that assembles and manages corporate advisory boards.

“Judgment comes not only from people’s experience,” Stautberg says “but also from their ability to cultivate networks that give them broad access to the experience and wisdom of others. It’s not enough to have a big Rolodex of golfing buddies.”

Lesson: If Dunn had sought second and third opinions, those little bits of unvarnished feedback might have saved her a lot of pain, embarrassment … and her job.

-- Adapted from “Chairman Rx: The Need for Perspective,” Saj-nicole Joni, Forbes.com.

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