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The New Leadership —
Sober, Spirited, and Spiritual

“Sober is the one who sees things as they really are, not as he would like them to be.”
Leading a company must be more than a hobby, and certainly more than fun. Leaders must demonstrate realism, maturity, knowledge, and a little wisdom. “A distinguishing mark of a ripe human being is his sobriety,” the sixth-century monk St. Benedict pointed out. He went on: “Sober is the one who sees things as they really are, not as he would like them to be.” The past years have proven our fateful tendency to cherish illusions about our economic reality. We can only hope that sobriety is now molding the thinking of future managers.

In these times of consolidation, economic weakness, and scarce funds, nobody should underestimate the importance of combining passion with patience and professionalism. 


Klaus-Peter Gushurst ([email protected]) is a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, based in Munich, Germany. He specializes in strategy, turnaround/restructuring, and corporate management, primarily in the financial-services and automotive industries.
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  1. “The Four Bases of Organizational DNA,” by Gary Neilson, Bruce A. Pasternack, and Decio Mendes, s+b, Winter 2003. Click here.
  2. “What Strategists Can Learn from Sartre,” by James Ogilvy, s+b, Winter 2003. Click here.
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