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Get There Early by Bob Johansen

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3 The VUCA World Both Danger and Opportunity

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. —Abraham Lincoln, 1862 Annual Message to Congress

This chapter explores nasty challenges and intriguing opportunities of the VUCA world. The dangers are characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. But these same dangers create leadership opportunities that I describe in terms of vision, understanding, clarity, and agility.1

Many people, including some leaders, are already beyond their own personal capability to cope. The pain can be intense. While nobody can predict the ...

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