Chapter 3. Leadership in Limited Space

The Leadership Dilemma

One day a friend and I were sitting at an outdoor café in foggy Marin County, California, while the sounds of Highway 101 hummed behind us. My friend posed the question, “Can you have a great career in a crappy company?”

It was a simple question, but one I had never seen addressed in any business book.

My friend continued, “We read so much about the great companies—Intel, GE, Southwest, SAS, FedEx, Microsoft—and those with all the heat on them, like JetBlue, Apple, and Google. What about the rest of us? What about those of us who don’t work in the best companies? Worse, what about those of us who work in companies that have been through turmoil, companies that have been torn apart? In ...

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