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enough to the truth; most people are indeed busy and computers are notoriously unreliable. But we shouldn’t underestimate the skill and self-control that quick fixes sometimes require. In a skeptical, high-pressure world, people can’t simply claim the dog ate their homework. One morning, for example, Paula Wiley, the public relations manager at a large, Washington, D.C. law firm, sat in astonishment as she listened to a request that she not attend a meeting with several partners later in the day.
might protect the employees a little longer. In short, by holding out for a responsible, longterm solution, Williams would be exercising real leadership, not just playing games. Perhaps delay would have worked for Williams, but what if it didn’t? What if his boss told him he had to produce better numbers or else? Then Williams will have to find some way to dissipate the pressure. “Throwing the Boss a Bone” is a proven way to do this. Fortunately, most badly managed operations, like the one
heroic standard of leadership. He didn’t do all he could to take care of Jerome. He hadn’t found him shelter, even for a single night. Instead of taking a risk and following Jerome off the subway, Russo sat and watched the boy walk away. The man with the switchblade had almost attacked Jerome—what other predators awaited him that night? The heroic model is not, however, the right way to think about what Russo did. It defines his problem as straightforward—protecting Jerome and finding him
want to repress what they feel, but they do want to control and channel it as effectively as possible. They realize that taking a forceful stand on principle can be the easy way out of a problem or can make matters worse, so they restrain themselves. Moving at Internet speed is a bad mistake for people going in the wrong direction. 171 L E A D I N G Q U I E T L Y But restraint does far more than help people avoid mistakes. In most cases, quiet leadership would not be possible without a good
efforts to lead. By the end of the course, many students are able to distinguish between the two different approaches to leadership I’ve discussed in this book—one heroic, the other quiet. This distinction is rough and tentative. It doesn’t apply to all of literature or all of life. It does suggest, however, that thinking about leadership primarily in terms of heroic figures can be a partial, misleading, and even hazardous way of seeing the world and trying to make it better. After teaching this