Making It Happen
Do You Have What It Takes?
In the 1999 film The Matrix, the protagonist, Neo, is offered a choice of two pills: one red, one blue. If he takes the red pill, it will show him that he's living in an illusion. He'll discover the painful truth that reality is far more complex and makes far more demands on him than he'd ever imagined. But if he chooses the blue pill, he'll go back to his old life, in blissful ignorance of the illusion. After a moment's thought, he takes the red pill—a choice that marks the beginning of an epic personal journey. In a series of heroic acts, Neo finally frees the human race from a prison: one it had created for itself through its dependence on intelligent machines that would ultimately turn against it.
We suspect that many leaders—perhaps you?—will be faced with a similar choice after reading this book. If you choose the red pill, you're committing yourself to adopting the approach to organizational excellence that we've outlined here, an approach that is equally balanced between performance and health. The catch is that if you take this path, it will be more challenging than others you could follow, and make more demands of you as a leader. And despite the science that we've brought to bear, it's still a path that leads you into unknown territory—a leap of faith, if you will.
The alternative is the blue pill. Put the book down or hand it to a friend or colleague and go about managing and leading in the same way you've always done. ...