Chapter 1. The Hidden Promise of the Everyday

WHEN I TITLED THIS BOOK DELIVER!, I CHOSE A WORD WITH RICH MEANINGS—BRING FORTH, GIVE BIRTH, SET FREE. JOHN ADAMS MARKED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE BY INVENTING AMERICA’S “DAY OF DELIVERANCE” (JULY FOURTH). RECALL THE OLD HIGHWAYMAN’S THREAT (“STAND AND DELIVER!”). PONDER THE MODERN IRONY THAT COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS HAVE BACKDOORS MARKED “DELIVERIES.” I WOULD ARGUE THAT THE WORD IS SO POWERFUL THAT IT SHOULD MARK FRONT DOORS ONLY.

At first glance, the stories I share between these covers might appear implausible. The organizations I studied all had formidable challenges. Some were being tested by the scope of their own ambitions. Others created their own problems or faced daunting market demands. ...

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