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The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price by Jim McConoughey, Laurence G. Weinzimmer

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FOUR

Entrenched in Efficiency

Forgetting to Put Effectiveness First

The great management guru Peter Drucker once said, “There is nothing more wasteful than becoming highly efficient at doing the wrong thing.” Another noted management expert, Kenichi Ohmae, put it this way: “Rowing harder doesn’t help the boat if it is headed in the wrong direction.” Not only are the quotations on the topic of foolish efficiency endless, but so are the examples.

Former professional cyclist Robert Millar would almost certainly agree. Consider the heartbreak the Scottish athlete experienced—an outcome of being highly efficient while doing the wrong thing. Among his many impressive accomplishments, Millar won the “King of the Mountains” title in the Tour de France ...

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