Bad News

Bad News
May 1, 2018 Gary Shotton

How you respond to bad news is a great indicator of our readiness to start and grow our business. By Gary Shotton #000186

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Bad News

By Gary Shotton

My name is Gary Shotton and I’m here with Inspiring Better Business. I hope these are helpful to you. and today we’re going to talk about “Bad News”. and in this subject of bad news you know. interestingly, bad news never gets better with age, I’m telling you. you think that oh man I’ve got to hide this bad news. I don’t want to I don’t want anybody to know. I want to be discreet about this. and you know there’s certainly some truth that you need to be selective on whom you talk to about bad news. and you need to be talking with people that have your best interests at heart and people that are supporting you and not people that are going to be gossips you know. there’s common sense in this but bad news never gets better with age. and I’m just going to talk about four points here I think when you get some bad news. it doesn’t all have to be economic. I mean it could be bad news of something physical. it could be bad news of something in a family member. so, you know I’m just going to try to help you with some of these thoughts here.

Number one, I suggest that when you get some bad news that you look at it sooner rather than later. the sooner you face the issues typically the better off you’ll be. I’m telling you more than once I heard some bad news about something that happened in a situation in my life. I’ll give you some examples later. but I heard some examples, I heard that this was you know I didn’t pass my engineering exam or are some bad news that I didn’t that I wasn’t able to pay my last tuition for a school that I went to. I mean those are bad news and you know I had to look at it face up the sooner the better. because normally when I dug into it and I got the facts that weren’t nearly as bad as I first looked at it. so, make sure you don’t just run and hide and put your head in the sound like an ostrich. you should look at things and be willing to look at them sooner. and not put it off and not delay and what you know what you’re going to do here with this bad news. think about it is that something, when you got some bad news, is that something you can do.

Well, get the facts that are number two. there’s I kind of bled over in the last one but you know. when you start digging into the facts and you just hit it face on and that’s kind of the next one facing the Giants. but when you get all the facts. many times, the news is not nearly as bad as I’ve made it up in my mind. you know my mind is going around and I’m thinking okay I’m thinking the worst here. I mean what could happen now, I mean oh no this is going to be bad if it gets one more step of bad news I don’t know what I’m going to do. well-well shy away from that get the facts don’t hesitate to look at the fact. and more times than not I found out that when I got and dug into the facts it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had made it up in my mind. our minds have a wonderful way of playing tricks on us our emotions have a wonderful way of being difficult for us. and so, I ask you to just think about getting the facts to write them down, start planning start you’ll put them in an organized fashion. certainly, don’t become emotional and fall apart that’s not going to help anybody. and so be sure and look upwards in other words if you have faith in God look to him for guidance. if you’re leading a family and there’s some bad news. you know you don’t want to go to your children even if they’re teenagers and ask their advice they’re not capable of helping you. you need to be strong in your front and not lying to anybody but be strong and face the facts, get the facts are you doing that. when you have a little bit of bad news what are you willing to dig in and do some extra effort. I challenge you to do that.

Number three faces the giant. well, running and hiding is no option. if you’ve done something to cause the problem admit it. To be honest, say hey buck stops with me face to face up to it. create a correctly plan that for whatever happened you know. whatever you did wrong or whatever it was wrong. you know I make a habit in this business of taking responsibility. I think that’s a part of any business owner. I don’t push the plans down and blame people all we were late because the truck broke down. oh, we were late on this part because I had my best machinist for his wife and went into the hospital he couldn’t finish the job. I can think of a thousand different excuses, that’s what they are they’re excuses. you know face the giant, if you have something that you did that causes the problem. that wasn’t created the bad news evaluate that a fixed set plan to correct that tool won’t happen. again, and but take responsibility to face it. you’re you’ll be better off if you do that.

Then number four be willing to communicate. you see we’ve had bad news here. we’ve had bad news that we didn’t buy material in time. we had it happened last week, where it was four or five weeks ago that a buyer and his good intention failed to buy failed to place the order. it was kind of like he had the email prepared and didn’t hit Send we’ve all done that. and when he didn’t hit Send we didn’t order the material, and we didn’t discover it till about three or four weeks later. and that’s going to make it our parts late for this customer. well, as soon as we discovered it we called them right away. we communicated with wood we didn’t make a lot of excuses, but this buyer was right to do that. and he’s told him what happened he didn’t make any excuses and then he planned a fast track to double time on some of the things that are getting even though the Lord order was place lettering it was late we asked that the supplier on this material could accelerate the delivery is at all possible and they did a little bit. and then we made an assurance to our customer that when those materials got in our shop we put them right on the machine. guess what the ones I’m talking about this project that I’m talking about. I saw the material came in yesterday and I could walk down here not right behind me but down to a few machines down from here and there on that machine we’re making up time. what the key is we communicated. oh, my goodness there’s nothing worse than you knowing something you know that something happened. and you know this part going to be late and then you don’t communicate with the company that you’re supplying to. you don’t give them a chance you don’t give them a chance to place that order with somebody else. you’ve got to be willing to say hey I messed up. I’m going to communicate that if you take that order and give that to someone else. I fully understand I regret it I would like to make it up to you. and you know there’s a better chance of that buyer forgiving you. because you didn’t back him into the corner. there’s nothing worse than three days after a part due supposed to be delivered to the customer. that the customer calls us and says where’s my part. and then we say oh by the way two weeks ago we had a machine went down and we can’t even get that part to you for another week. that won’t work you’re going to lose your customer. bad news communicates be quick, be accurate customers are more likely to forgive you and give you a chance to make it up if you’ll communicate openly with you with him.

Now you know bad news has come in many ways. I had the bad news when I was told by three of my customers. I had three big customers and two of them had already told me we don’t need your services. this is again in 2009 when the economy just dropped to the bottom. and I had one last customer better recontinue to communicate with us and said. you know look still okay our sales projection so it looks good. they’re down a little bit and I was kind of counting on that customer carrying us through this slow time. and I went to that meeting at 7 o’clock and I’ll never forget it. I went with my executive assistant and they said all we’ve got some bad news. we have revised our sales projections and actually, we don’t need any work from you to be done. we’re okay without you helping us. now that’s not what happened. they were wise enough and gave us some work to keep us afloat. but I had to come back and I had to act sooner than later. I did that within a day or two I laid off 41 employees, I didn’t want to do that. but we were at the end of our rope. we could not carry the overhead of people having to work and paying them and not having jobs for them. I had to get the facts I had to find out exactly where we were, exactly what parts were going to use, how exactly who we needed I had to face the giant. face on I’ve drunk I put my staff in together with me in the planning session. on his head down to five team people and we had about 16 machinists and five key people the couple in quality added up to 25 as all we had left. and then we communicated in this case with each other. I communicated with him I made the statement very openly, we will come through this. this was bad news but I have no other option. we are not folding we will have a job and I asked them my key people my five key people are you willing to do anything and everything legally and morally that needs to be done to get through this, and all five said yes and we said hey oh I’ll do whatever I’ll drive the truck, I’ll sweep the floor. that was the audit we communicated with each other. I didn’t hide this fact you know because they’re going to hear about it anyway. so why wouldn’t I just within an hour to have our meeting. I believe that you can get through bad news if you’ll handle it correctly. I think that’s the test for a good leader. you know we can go to leadership class and more leadership classes and more leadership class I’m all for that. so, what shows the reality is what I do when I get some bad news. remember bad news never gets better over time. face it head-on make it happen and you’ll be better off for it. thank you for listening please share these if you would Inspiring Better Business to thank you very much.


  1. Octavian 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing with us this profound truth, Gary. It is an excellent reminder that business is not for the faint-hearted. But it is for those who can persevere and know, that which cannot kill you will make you.

    • Author
      Gary Shotton 4 years ago

      Thanks for your encouragement and support. We hate to hear bad news and learning how to rebound is the key.

  2. Tim Rovenstine 4 years ago

    personal experience always seems to have more validity than theories from classrooms. Good stuff

    • Author
      Gary Shotton 4 years ago

      Always appreciate your input and suggestions. You are a great blessing! Gary

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