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Must-Win Battles: How to Win Them, Again and Again by Tracey Keys, Thomas Malnight, Peter Killing

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Chapter 2. Understanding Your Starting Conditions

John Ryan raised his head and scanned the table. Nine managers, with nine different opinions—again. After three hours of debate there was still no progress. Everyone was polite, but frustration was not far below the surface. Since taking over as CEO of the Europe division two months earlier, John had been tempted to let several managers go, but part of him recognized a deeper truth: “We have a leadership problem, and I am the leader.”

John had spent his first months in his new role assessing the business and the management team he had inherited. His suspicions were that the persistent decline in business performance was going to worsen, and he did not believe that the managers were addressing ...

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