Dissonance Is the Default

FOR MANY YEARS, “Karl,” a managing partner in a well-known professional services firm, exemplified the qualities of an exceptional leader. His reputation for not only bringing in clients but also keeping them happy was legendary. He was a stellar role model, therefore, for young new associates, whom he often would take under his wing, creating opportunities and guiding them up the company ladder. Karl worked hard to manage both himself and his relationships in an insightful way. Managing client projects in the region he led had become second nature—he could almost predict the pattern of team dynamics and ongoing negotiation with clients about deliverables and next steps. He was generally upbeat and creative, ...

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