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The Unfinished Leader

Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems

David L. Dotlich (author)
Peter C. Cairo (author)
Cade Cowan (author)
List Price:
Hardback (pp: 288)
John Wiley & Sons Inc
Pub. Date:
28th Mar 2014

Available|9781118455098Add to wish list

With the demands of technology, transparency, and constant connectedness, and calls for higher performance, leaders from the front line to the C-suite face complex dilemmas that cannot be easily denied or postponed. These perplexing, recurring issues are familiar to anyone in a leadership role today, including: * How do I balance my functional or business unit goals with the needs of my peers and the whole company? * How do I support and promote others while still advancing my own career? * How do I emphasize teamwork and still reward the stars ? * Can I really devote enough time and energy to both family and work? These are not problems but paradoxes situations in which there will never be a single correct solution and while they make many leaders feel overwhelmed and challenged, this remarkable book provides help. The Unfinished Leader is a modern handbook for recognizing, facing, and inspiring others to expose the real issues that underlie paradoxes in modern organizations.Leaders must first recognize situations they will never be able to solve and understand how to confront the barriers in their own heads and their organizations that push them towards seeking ultimate solutions that don t exist. Leading through complexity requires giving up the illusion of control, consistency, and closure, while embracing the reality of being permanently unfinished. Drawing from interviews with 100 CEOs and top leaders from a wide range of companies such as Avon, Nike, Colgate, DeutschePost DHL, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, and many more The Unfinished Leader provides the mindsets and tools to recognize contradictory requirements, understand competing demands, and still be able to take action. No one can find or even should look for perfect solutions to impossible situations. The Unfinished Leader will help leaders at all levels understand and excel at their true task: guiding themselves and their teams through ongoing paradoxes, reconciling competing outcomes, continually changing and adapting, and thereby building lasting success.


Foreword ix by Stephen H

Rhinesmith Preface xiii Introduction
- Stepping Up to Complete Leadership 1 PART 1 THE CHALLENGE OF PARADOXES 9 1 Puzzles and Paradoxes 11 2 Jumping Over the Line 30 3 Obstacles to Leadership 52 PART 2 MINDSETS FOR LEADING THROUGH PARADOX 69 4 The Purpose Mindset 71 5 The Reconciliation Mindset 91 6 The Innovation Mindset 108 PART 3 TOOLS FOR LEADERSHIP 129 7 Scanning for the Right Paradox 131 8 Scenario Thinking 143 9 Stakeholder Mapping 159 10 Dialogue for Alignment 172 11 Quelling Confl ict 185 PART 4 YOUR PERSONAL CHALLENGE 201 12 Developing Yourself 203 Conclusion
- Managing Personal and Public Paradoxes 224 Notes 229 About the Authors 239 Index 241

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