The Leader’s Challenge

“EDUARDO” had just been promoted to lead a very visible division of a well-known international NGO (nongovernmental organization).1 An economist, Eduardo was assigned to a country with a fragile, newly democratic government—formed from opposite sides of a decade-long war that had finally reached resolution. His division’s challenge? To help the new government ministries to coordinate their strategies as they built their democracy in this war-torn, poverty-stricken part of the world. His staff of fifty local, well-respected professionals—many skilled in diplomacy—was well suited for dealing with the NGO’s “clients,” members of a government who until very recently were literally trying to kill each other.

Eduardo, ...

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