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The Future of Leadership: Today's Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow's Leaders by Gretchen M. Spreitzer, Warren Bennis, Thomas G. Cummings

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Chapter One

The Future Has No Shelf Life

Warren Bennis

In my room, the world is

beyond my understanding;

But when I walk I see that it

Consists of three or four hills,

and a cloud.

—WALLACE STEVENS

In his Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis tells us of an ancient Chinese imprecation, “I curse you; may you live in an important age.” So we are all damned, encumbered, and burdened as well as charmed, exhilarated, and fascinated by this curse. What a time! Tom Friedman in his book The Lexus and the Olive Tree tells us that the world is ten years old and what he means by that is that the Berlin Wall fell a little over ten years ago, November 9, 1989, marking the end of the Cold War. The symbol of the Cold War, he wrote, was the Wall; the symbol ...

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