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Chapter 1 The Strategic Leader’s New Mandate

The ability to hold two competing thoughts in one’s mind and still be able to function is the mark of a superior mind.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

Carl Jung

Strategic leadersI distinguish between “strategic leaders” in this book who are in senior leadership positions at the strategic apex of the organization, and other “leaders” who can demonstrate leadership separate and distinct from their authority or position within the organization. today are facing unrelenting pressures to deliver results. Indeed, whole books are being written based on the central premise that the purpose of leadership is to deliver results—on time and within budget.Ulrich, Zenger, & Smallwood (1999). In light of these withering pressures to deliver predictable short-term results, most leaders conclude that their only option is to react quickly to problems and opportunities as they arise and forget about long-term thinking.

This pressure to change is real and increasing. Ed Lawler and Chris Worley note,

An analysis of the Fortune 1000 corporations shows that between 1973 and 1983, 35 percent of the companies in the top twenty were new. The number of new companies increases to 45 percent when the comparison is between 1983 and 1993. It increases even further, to 60 percent, when the comparison is between 1993 and 2003. Any bets as to where it will be between 2003 and 2013?Lawler and Worley (2006), p. 1.