The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times
On Sale: October 3, 2017
Hardcover / e-Book
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An enthralling historical narrative filled with critical
leadership insights that will be of interest to a wide range
of readers—including those in government, business,
education, and the arts—Forged in Crisis, by celebrated
Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn, spotlights
five masters of crisis: polar explorer Ernest Shackleton;
President Abraham Lincoln; legendary abolitionist Frederick
Douglass; Nazi-resisting clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer; and
environmental crusader Rachel Carson.
What do such disparate figures have in common? Why do their
extraordinary stories continue to amaze and inspire? In
delivering the answers to those questions, Nancy Koehn
offers a remarkable template by which to judge those in our
own time to whom the public has given its trust.
She begins each of the book’s five sections by showing her
protagonist on the precipice of a great crisis: Shackleton
marooned on an Antarctic ice floe; Lincoln on the verge of
seeing the Union collapse; escaped slave Douglass facing
possible capture; Bonhoeffer agonizing over how to counter
absolute evil with faith; Carson racing against the cancer
ravaging her in a bid to save the planet. The narrative then
reaches back to each person’s childhood and shows the
individual growing—step by step—into the person he or she
will ultimately become. Significantly, as we follow each
leader’s against-all-odds journey, we begin to glean an
essential truth: leaders are not born but made. In a book
dense with epiphanies, the most galvanizing one may be that
the power to lead courageously resides in each of us.
Both a repository of great insight and an exceptionally
rendered human drama, Forged in Crisis stands as a towering
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