By Anne Harbison
"To fashion an inner story of our pain carries us into the heart of it, which is where rebirth
inevitability occurs." - Sue Monk Kidd
You'd know that I grew up in Kentucky, I was a national speech competitor in college, and my first job was at Procter & Gamble. I received my doctorate researching leadership development. I've been married to my college sweetheart, Steve, for over twenty years. We love being parents.
Pretty basic stuff, which makes it a tame (and lame) icebreaker in the retreats I facilitate for leadership teams. But conversations like these get more interesting when we start telling the stories behind the stories. So...
Before joining P&G, I spent a year with a music group that traveled around the world. We were in Eastern Europe when the Berlin Wall came down, performing in the shipyards of Gdańsk where Poland was invaded at the start of WW2.
After P&G, I joined an...
Working harder, longer, faster may be the way to climb the first part of your career ladder. But is there an end in sight? Decades of drive can easily turn into a grueling treadmill of effort and exhaustion. That's a dangerous place to be in the middle of a crisis. Now is the time to purposely navigate, not mindlessly execute. Stepping back to allow others to step up has its benefits.
There is hardly a senior executive that I coach who isn't in some way caught in what I call the "Achiever's Dilemma." Their success is a testament to their stamina, but increasingly the "good soldier" drive feels more like a tyrannical trap.
Getting stuff done matters. Of course! Executing with excellence is important, sure. In times of crisis and complexity, however, what we need to "execute" changes as new data, insights, and needs emerge. Dexterity actually matters more than drive. If we're too busy racing down the highway to bother to stop for gas or ask for directions, where...
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