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The Future-Proof Workplace by Marshall Goldsmith, Morag Barrett, Linda Sharkey

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Chapter 2LeadershipLeading the Future

I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and saw that service is a joy.

—Khalil Gibran

We walked into the executive meeting after preparing for days with our team to deliver the much-anticipated proposal.

Our team had worked hard to capture what the executives wanted. Many long days and nights were consumed with getting just the right tone, providing the facts, and offering some cutting-edge solutions.

As we waited outside the conference room, we heard arguing and yelling inside the room. We all looked at each other with concern. We'd heard that the executive team did not get along and its members were always trying to outdo each other. Each one wanted to be the smartest person in the room and often showed it by pointing out small flaws that had little impact on the proposal.

Colleagues often came out of those meetings discouraged and demoralized. It appeared that was going to happen again with our team.

As the doors opened, a colleague walked out of the room and said, “Good luck. They are really in rare form today.” This team was sent back to the drawing board again because the executive team members were grandstanding and could not agree.

We knew their pain. We had experienced it before. They had already spent many long hours on their proposal, and they would now have to spend many more. All the team wanted at this point was to get a plan approved so they could move forward. They ...

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