Magretta and Stone’s denial that people and things function according to very different and often competing logics represents a determined, even reactionary, attempt to stuff the elusive genie of leadership back into the management bottle. Senior managers feel self-confident and powerful, but, immune to anything other than favorable comment, they end up taking their organizations in directions that they cannot or should not go. They can describe the broad path that leads to the future in eloquent, persuasive terms, often attracting the support of management academics in the process. But, as recent corporate history reminds us, without a moral compass to guide them, too often they and their unfortunate followers end up in a quagmire.
Reprint No. 02407
David K. Hurst, email@example.com
David K. Hurst, a regular contributor to strategy+business, is the author of Learning from the Links: Mastering Management Using Lessons from Golf (Simon & Schuster Inc., Free Press, 2002). A speaker and writer on management, Mr. Hurst also wrote Crisis & Renewal: Meeting the Challenge of Organizational Change (Harvard Business School Press, 1995) and was a visiting scholar/practitioner at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C., in 1998–99. His writing has appeared in Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times, and other leading business publications.