Chapter Seven

Bringing Leadership Lessons from the Past into the Future

James M. KouzesBarry Z. Posner

“The future has no shelf life,” declares leadership guru Warren Bennis in Chapter One. He could have easily been paraphrasing the legendary New York Yankee skipper Yogi Berra, who observed: “The future ain't what it used to be!”

Predicting the future is often a fool's game. Think about Charles Duell, who as commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents might have known better, but as early as 1899 pointed out: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Or consider President Grover Cleveland's prophecy in 1905: “Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.” Decca Records in 1962 declared that “guitar music is on the way out”—which ...

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