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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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SEVEN

The Battle Within

Distracted Purpose

Let’s go back to that dinner table where everyone’s sitting, eating a meal together. In a culture of dysfunctional harmony, everyone smiles through the tension as they ask for the mashed potatoes. In a culture of distracted purpose, they may not be talking at all. And if they are, they’re likely to be shouting or interrupting each other. They may even be throwing the food as much as they’re eating it, or insulting the cook or the host. There’s no guise of harmony—just complete lack of teamwork at best, and open hostility at worst.

We’ve all seen those companies, even if we haven’t had the displeasure of working for one. Linda, an executive at a multinational company headquartered in Dallas, is unfortunate ...

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