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The Clarity Principle: How Great Leaders Make the Most Important Decision in Business (and What Happens When They Don't) by Chatham Sullivan

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5

Taking a Stand

Karen Zorn’s family believed in being true to one’s principles. “My father was an elected official in my home town in Wisconsin,” Zorn told me as we recounted her journey over the last two years. “He was the kind of guy who took risks and didn’t care what people thought. He probably shouldn’t have been elected twice. But he had grit. He was the same at home as he was in public. I learned very early on that there was something more important to him than being liked. My father taught me that it is more important to do the right thing.”

Zorn and I talked often, and at length, about her strategy as president of the Longy School of Music, a nearly-hundred-year-old institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We had met three years earlier, ...

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