How We Lead Matters

You have chosen wisely.

—Grail Knight, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

In 2000, when I led Vivendi’s video games division, parent company Vivendi acquired media giant Universal. I e-mailed my boss arguing why I should be part of the team that would lead the integration of the two companies. I had worked on managing post-merger situations at McKinsey, I wrote; I had the right skills. It worked. I was selected to lead the effort that would “extract synergies” from the merger in the United States. I was to report directly to Vivendi’s chief operating officer in Paris. My appointment was announced in a press release following a board meeting. I was very excited.

Did I feel that my new job was fulfilling a noble ...

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