Red_flag_womenA smart banker, Fred Hadley of the Huntington National Bank, told me long ago how bankers feel about communication with entrepreneurs. He said: “You can walk to me with good news, but always run to me with bad news.”

It makes sense that a banker, especially one who has loaned you money, wants to know any bad news right away. Your ability to repay the debt might be at stake.

Whom do you owe?
Sometimes, it’s not financial debt. It might be emotional or professional. It could be information that others need to address problems. It could be a promise that you aren’t — despite your efforts — going to be able to keep. It could be bad news that someone has to hear eventually.

Have some bad news? Run with it. Raise the red flag right away. There are usually more options for dealing with bad news when it’s delivered earlier.

P.S. Another smart friend — John O. Huston — offers a variation, “We never shoot the messenger…unless he’s late!”