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The Longest of Rivers

November 20, 2020

By Pia Lee, CEO, LIW 

There’s an old joke that ‘denial’ is the longest river in Africa. The journey down it often includes judgement, anger, bitterness and stubborn justification to reject the new situation. Trump’s refusal to concede post the US election provides the world a showcase on the subject, spanning from satirical YouTube to executive education programs.

What does this mean for leadership?

Denial isn’t solely reserved for a tantrum-prone POTUS. It’s one that we all experience in the process of change. William Bridges, Change Psychologist, wisely noted that ‘things change but humans transition’. Denial and resistance need to be recognised and constructively processed to traverse to acceptance of the new.

In a constantly evolving and changing world, denial never works as a long term strategy. It’ll leave you beached on a river’s sandbank, regretfully watching the rest of the world sail by.

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