Written and Narrated by Annette Simmons.

“Basically, what we do for a living is we slay dragons. And when we are done, there is always another dragon just around the corner.” All heads nodded and a few fists went up in the air. The executive pointed at a PowerPoint image of a knight standing over a slain dragon. He was proud of his use of storytelling to bring clarity to daily struggles.

This habit of framing problems as an imaginary battle between good and evil, distorts our awareness of the importance of balancing conflicting priorities, and of considering both sides of the paradoxes we encounter in the everyday process of doing business. We need both quality and quantity, competition and collaboration, and yes, clarity and ambiguity. War narratives misrepresent paradoxes as battles that can be won decisively.

The habit of framing problems as battles to win or dragons to slay is often a mistake. What we characterize as a dragon almost always represents the shadow side of a couplet. The dragon of fear limits risks, and the dragon of burnout stalks achievement. But these are not simple zero-sum challenges in which one side wins and the other loses.

Fear also focuses attention, and burnout is a result of too much achievement. Deciding to defeat one side or the other only causes more problems. Long term success requires that we learn how to manage both sides of a long list of contrasting priorities instead of vanquishing one side for the sake of the other...

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Book by this Author:

Drinking from a Different Well

Drinking from a Different Well: How Women’s Stories Change What Power Means in Action
by Annette Simmons

book cover of Drinking from a Different Well: How Women’s Stories Change What Power Means in Action by Annette SimmonsPacked with investigations into women’s narratives, the book delves into the role of instincts, perceptions, judgment, and ownership, and looks at the paradox of gendered points of view, the differences in the female and male view of power, and the critical importance of avoiding power struggles. Business and global affairs are filled with modern-day Cassandras — but Drinking from a Different Well provides a powerful strategy for blending perspectives to best solve today’s challenges. The book’s reader's guide and discussion questions make this an invaluable text for leadership study groups.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition and as an Audiobook.

About the Author

photo of author: Annette SimmonsAnnette Simmons is a keynote speaker, consultant, and author of four books including The Story Factor, listed in The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. She got her business degree from Louisiana State University in 1983, spent ten years in Australia in international business, got an M.Ed. from North Carolina State University (1994), and founded Group Process Consulting in 1996.

Her new book is Drinking from a Different Well: How Women’s Stories Change What Power Means in Action. Learn more at her book’s website or visit her website at AnnetteSimmons.com

More books by this Author.