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

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Chapter 10The Art of Awareness

The Story: Lu

One opportunity Alex pledged to take advantage of as soon as he decided to drive back to Seattle was seeing the Columbia River Gorge, the 80-mile-long gorge separating Oregon and Washington that runs through the Cascade Mountains. Throughout his years in Seattle, Alex and his family had spent many weekends and vacations in the area, hiking, biking, and taking in its natural wonders. To reach the trails near Hood River that he planned to see again, he would have to drive well past nightfall. But the prospect of seeing the morning sun reflected in the river's surface was all the urging Alex needed. He was mentally prepared for a long stretch behind the wheel. It would be worth the effort. At this moment, it occurred to Alex that there could also be long stretches of road between exciting breakthroughs in Dallas. But with the right people on the bus, Alex knew that his team's chances of success would be much higher.

The people at the plant, including the team leaders, came to Dallas from nearly every point on the compass, but only one of them was a native of the Pacific Northwest: Lu, head of the maintenance department, had been born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. Like Seattle, Vancouver enjoyed a relatively mild climate year round, and during the summer months, it rained, on average, every other day. To get away from the endlessly overcast, rainy winter months in Vancouver, Lu started vacationing in the American southwest ...

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