Chapter One

GOOD NEWS

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.

—Tao Te Ching

It is in self-imitation that a master first shows himself.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German playwright, poet, novelist, and dramatist, 1749–1832

A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure.

I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions.

I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.

—Oscar Wilde, Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, and critic, 1854–1900

Imagine . . .

It’s Monday morning. You’re in the car, just heading to work after a two-week trip to Cancun.

On the way in, your cell phone hasn’t stopped ringing, traffic is mostly stopped, and you can’t imagine what must be waiting for you at the office. You feel your relaxed nerves slowly tightening.

Sure enough, just after greeting you with a hearty “Welcome back,” the boss asks you to locate suitable office space “within the next two months” for a new foray into the Chicago region. You learn that Human Resources is behind schedule in downsizing (or “right-sizing,” as the board likes to call it) 5 percent of the employees at two facilities, with a six-month deadline looming. And Sales and Marketing informs you that the personnel cuts are causing morale problems, which in turn threaten to adversely affect customer sales and perception. And that’s just the half of it. Thanks to right-sizing in other departments last ...

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