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The Unfinished Leader: Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems by Cade Cowan, Peter C. Cairo, David L. Dotlich

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2

Jumping Over the Line

People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be “consistent.”

—Oliver Wendell Holmes1

We often hear rising leaders lament: “If I can just get to the next level, then I can solve this problem.” The comment tells us that the speakers believe they will then have the power, authority, and control to implement the solution that will work. No more fooling around, they think. With the right hand on the tiller, the ship can be properly steered into port.

But the idea that a promotion, to any level of power, will give anyone that kind of control is an illusion. Those who succumb to it believe that all the problems they face are puzzles with fixed, permanent solutions. ...

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