Be Careful What You Say When You’re the Leader

John DeLorean told me that shortly after he had become general manager of Chevrolet he attended a sales conference in Dallas, and when he arrived at his hotel suite he discovered that someone from the company had delivered a huge basket of fruit to his room. Remarking to an associate on the basket’s size and variety he commented, humorously, he thought, “What? No bananas?”

From that moment on, the word throughout General Motors was “John DeLorean loves bananas.” No matter how many times he attempted to explain that he had only meant to be amusing, bananas kept showing up in cars, chartered planes, hotel suites—even in meetings—and followed him throughout his career at Chevrolet.

Source: What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School by Mark H. McCormack

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