A few weeks ago, I was comparing notes with a colleague about getting a realistic perspective on business. His approach was very consistent with mine – you must talk with several people with differing viewpoints to get a balanced perspective on the business.
Depending upon the person you speak with, you will get a different perspective based on where the person is in the organization, whether they are focused internally or externally and their function. The VP of Sales may be incredibly optimistic and present a rosy outlook. The CFO may present a conservative picture, consider all of the risks, but not all of the upsides. The CEO may strive to put some stretch into the performance of the organization while balancing the risks. It is only by understanding each of these perspectives that you can gain a holistic perspective with the upsides and the risks. How are you getting a balanced perspective?