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How can a leader be taken advantage of if he hasn't relinquished his bottom-line ideals? I've "capitulated" to people's requests at the expense of the perception I was taken advantage of. In fact, I did nothing more than what Lincoln did: "Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can ... As a peace-maker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough" (quoted in Donald Philips' Lincoln on Leadership). I've done my utmost to cooperate with my subordinates without worry about how I will be perceived by others. This hasn't been easy for me (I still get caught get caught up in worrying about what people think of me sometimes). I rather be known as a collaborator willing to do what's ultimately in the best interest of kids than be thought of as a "tough guy" with whom nobody messes.