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Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz by Frank Barrett

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CHAPTER SIX
Taking Turns Soloing and Supporting
Followership as a Noble Calling

“Lead, follow, or get out of the way”—that old adage pretty much sums up conventional wisdom about the corporate pyramid. At the top are the chief executives who give us direction. Next come the followers, who fall in line behind (unless they want to be part of the problem). At the base is everyone else—the ones who muddle around and obstruct the way. Little wonder that boards, investors, and other stakeholders become so fixated on identifying CEOs who can fill the role of fearless leader, however huge the raid he or she might entail on the corporate coffers.

Once, most CEOs rose through the ranks to take control of a company they knew intimately. Now, CEOs are just ...

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