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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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11

Quelling Conflict

Resilience is based on the ability to embrace the extremes—while not becoming an extremist.

—Gary Hamel1

Among our clients are leaders of the most elite businesses in the world, but they sometimes call us in over the most elemental of problems: People fighting over a decision. Often a top-executive team has begun a dialogue to solve a divisive and paradoxical problem—only to regress to shouting at each other. Insults fly, trust drops. We can often guess the root cause when we get the phone call: They have unwittingly let the contradictions of paradox spark a personal feud.

An example: We received a phone call from a CEO who had hired an executive as a change agent. The new man was charged with guiding a hidebound culture ...

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