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The Art of Strategic Leadership by Stephanie S. Mead, Steven J. Stowell

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Chapter 7The Art of Tenacity

The Story: Mya

Early on the first afternoon of his trip, Alex stopped at a restaurant just off the interstate, ordered a sandwich and a salad, and scrolled through the morning's email messages and his favorite news sites while he ate. Over coffee, he decided it was a good time to check in with the plant and dialed Robert's number. At first, Alex detected a hint of nervous excitement in his operations manager's voice. When he asked about the two large orders that were scheduled to ship by mid-week, Robert informed him that production was on schedule for both. In fact, he said, everything was running smoothly, and his tone grew more assured. Alex smiled, thinking, I've put the right guy in charge.

A few minutes later, Alex was back on the highway, heading west across a landscape that stretched endlessly before him. It was so flat, in fact, that he imagined he could see the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico in the far distance. He felt as if he were moving across a blank artist's canvas. That's why I wanted to take the time to drive back to Seattle, Alex thought. Driving gave him a chance to step back from the day-to-day distractions of the plant, get a fresh perspective, and plot a course that would transform Dallas and ensure that it played a key role in PSI's future. Especially when stepping into the middle of a troubled situation, it was too easy to get trapped in firefighting mode. That wasn't going to happen to him. From the first day he arrived ...

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