Crucibles of Leadership

Crucibles of Leadership

From the article: 

Extraordinary leaders meaning in-and
learn from-the most negative events. Like
phoeníxes rising from the ashes, they
emerge from adversity stronger, more conŕ
ñdent in themselves and thek purpose, and
more committed to their work

Such transformative ‘evenîs are called

crucibIes-a severe test or trial. Crucibles 

are intense, Often traumatic and always 




Four skills enable leaders to learn from adversity:

1. Engage others in shared meaning. For
example, Sidney Harman mobilized employees
around a radicai new management app roachŕ
amid a factory crisis.

2. A distinctive, compelling voice. With
words alone, college president Jack Coleman
preempted a violent clash beïween the footŕ
bail team and anti-Vietnam War demonstra»
tors threatening to burn the American flag.
Co|eman’s suggestion tothe protestors?
Lower the flag, wash it, then put it back up.

3. integrity. Coleman’s values prevailed dur-
ing emotionally charged face-off between
antiwar demonstrators and iraîe football players.

4. Adaptive capacity. This most critical skill
includes the abŕlityro grasp context, and hardrï
ness. Graspìng context requires weighing
many factors (e.g., how different peopïe will
interpreî a gesïure). Wiîhoutthis quality, leaders
Connect with consîiîuents.

Hardiness provides the perseverance and
toughness needed to remain hopeful despite
disaster. For instance, Michael Klein made mit
lions in real estate during his teens, lost it all
by age ZO-then built several more busi-
nesses, including transforming a tiny software
company into a Hewlett-Packard acquisition.


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