The Five Discoveries

THE ENTIRE TOP TEAM of the retail chain was in flux—moving up, down, or out as the company struggled to reinvent itself. Not surprisingly, there was more than the usual amount of intrigue, political jostling, and even subterfuge. And Bill, the human resources manager, was smack in the middle of it, involving himself in every conversation and debate. He made sure he let everyone know what he thought—and thought that he knew—setting himself up as “the guy in the know.”

Some of the top team went along with Bill’s highly developed sense of self-importance, humoring him because it served their own purposes. Others just avoided him. Then, at one point in the middle of the transition debacle, ...

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