Simon lasted another six months at the New England college before he decided it just wasn’t a good fit. He grew significantly in his ability to see what was going on, and he was able to articulate some of the behaviors he would need to change to adapt to the school’s culture. But he didn’t perceive a mutual willingness to adapt to him.

As if the challenge of leading a struggling school in New England wasn’t enough, Simon went on to accept the senior role at a fledgling company that provides executive coaching and training. The company had been very successful in the United States, but the last owner expanded the business into Europe and Asia and the profit margins had been in decline for the ...

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