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Optimize Your Strengths by Dr. Paul Brewerton, James Brook

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CHAPTER 1 The Leadership Edge: In which Joe comes to terms with his predicament and challenges his beliefs about leadership…

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Joe hangs up the phone on Kelly, his new boss, and walks slowly to his office window. Gazing thoughtfully across the park, he focuses on the wilting flowers in the hanging baskets, the product of a hot, dry summer. Wondering why the park wardens have not watered them, he smiles wryly, realizing that his estranged wife would say, if only she was there:

“You're only worrying about the park wardens, Joe, because it's easier than worrying about your own problems…”

In that second, he feels the full weight of his predicament for the first time.

As the recently appointed European head of Tiger Online Recruitment, Joe faces many challenges. His phone call with Kelly confirms this. His attention is momentarily drawn to a mother laughing as her two small children chase pigeons across the park. Frowning, he remembers his personal situation too, a situation he prefers not to think about.

“My life,” thinks Joe, “is spinning out of control…”

Turning back to his desk, Joe forces himself to focus on his professional challenges. At the forefront of his mind is the firm's current financial performance. Sales are 25% behind target and several major accounts have not renewed their contracts in recent months. Kelly had called from Seattle, wanting to go through the numbers ...

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