According to Tom Markert, author of "You Can't Win a Fight With Your Boss" (HarperBusiness, $14.95), seasoned executives have the experience to know when you might be trying to mask a failure. "Corporations are littered with spin-doctors at all levels," he says. "Spin-doctors don't exactly lie, but they don't exactly tell the truth either. It is usually very easy to spot a spin-doctor. You won't score points trying to mask a difficult situation, so don't bother. Lay out the truth so your organization can deal with it effectively."