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'The Unfinished Leader: Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems' is Released

'The Unfinished Leader: Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems' is Released

PORTLAND, OR -

By David L. Dotlich, Peter C. Cairo, and Cade Cowan
at Pivot Leadership
Published by Jossey-Bass

"Once you've stopped learning, you've stopped leading. This book shows you why, and offers proven methods, instructive examples, and practical tools for managing some of our most complex challenges as leaders."
- John T. Cahill, Chairman, Kraft Foods Group Inc.

Executives at Pivot Leadership (www.pivotleadership.com) have written an important new book entitled, "The Unfinished Leader: Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems," (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-118-45509-8; April 2014; $28.00; e-book available) by David L. Dotlich, Peter C. Cairo, and Cade Cowan.

Based on research and interviews with over 100 CEOs and senior executives around the world, the book identifies the three new mindsets and multiple communication tools which successful leaders employ to engage people, make decisions, develop talent, and grow companies in the face of constant competition, change, and complexity. Dotlich, Cairo, and Cowan each bring an amalgam of experience, based on coaching and consulting leaders at the world's foremost companies, such as Nike, Colgate, Deutsche Post DHL, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Walmart, and many more.

How Do Executives Lead Others to Successful Outcomes When There Are No Right Answers?
Given the constant demands of technology, transparency, and connectedness, leaders from the front line to the C-suite find delivering results is now more challenging than ever in the face of complex dilemmas that cannot be easily solved, denied, or postponed. These perplexing, recurring issues are familiar and present throughout organizations today: the conflicting needs of purpose and profit, short- and long-term goals, local versus global demands, and the need for a flatter, more nimble organization that still executes with discipline.

These are not problems, but paradoxes situations in which there may not be a single correct solution or right decision, and competing outcomes are continually changing, making closure impossible. While many leaders feel overwhelmed and challenged by this prospect, or engage in denial, Dotlich and his team help them embrace the reality of being permanently "unfinished."

Three Things Successful Leaders Do to Be Successful Today:

  • Recognize the Difference Between a Puzzle and a Paradox
  • Give Up on the Hope for Control, Consistency, and Closure
  • Let a Purpose, Not a Plan, Guide Your Way

The Unfinished Leader provides the mindsets and tools to recognize contradictory requirements, understand competing demands, develop decision criteria, and still be able to take action. The book 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.

More Praise for The Unfinished Leader
"I hope every leader will finish The Unfinished Leader. Written by coaches and advisers to some of the world's top CEOs, this book describes in concrete terms how successful leaders bring people together in the face of complexity and uncertainty."
- Stephen P. Holmes, Chairman and CEO, Wyndham Worldwide

"Many 'how to' books show how leaders can fix problems. Yet, as the authors point out, senior leaders live in a world of complex, ever-changing, and unstructured challenges. The Unfinished Leader offers a rare opportunity to learn from experts about how to not only deal with real world complexity, but to thrive in it."
- Fred Hassan, Executive Chairman, Bausch & Lomb, and Managing Director, Warburg Pincus

"The Unfinished Leader is a must read for any executive who wrestles with paradoxes such as the tension between short-term and long-term goals, local and global demands, and messy organizational structures. Which really means that every executive in business today needs to read this book."
- Paul M. Rand, Chief Digital Officer, Ketchum, President/CEO, Zócalo Group, and Author of Highly Recommended (McGraw Hill, 2013)


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