Forged in crisis book review
Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times by Nancy F. KoehnThis “engaging, unusually rewarding book…[which] will foster a new appreciation for effective leadership and prompt many readers to lament the lack of it in the world today” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), by celebrated Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn, examines five masters of crisis: explorer Ernest Shackleton; Abraham Lincoln; 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 her “enthralling…fascinating look at a varied group of heroes” (Publishers Weekly), Nancy Koehn offers a remarkable template by which to measure our aspirations and, also, to judge those in our time to whom weve given our trust.
Featuring “five stand-alone case studies that are well-written and interesting” (The New York Times), Koehn begins each section 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. Readers then learn about each person’s childhood and see 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 and courage to lead resides in each of us.
Providing both great insight and exceptionally rendered human drama, Forged in Crisis is “a highly engaging (and well documented)…book that quietly surpasses many so-called leadership tomes” (Booklist, starred review).
Thank you! Her striking choice of leaders—British polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, President Abraham Lincoln, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and environmental writer Rachel Carson—provides many ways of seeing how vastly different challenges can summon inner strengths that allow certain individuals to motivate others to great purposes. Leaders are made, not born, argues the author. Wise, thoughtful, and valuable, this book will foster a new appreciation for effective leadership and prompt many readers to lament the lack of it in the world today. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again. Be the first to discover new talent!
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In the early s, Nancy Koehn was socked with one personal blow after the next within a three-year period: Her father dropped dead suddenly. Her husband walked out and a terrible divorced ensued. And she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
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Table of Contents
Business school case studies involve a wide range of situations in which critical decisions have been or must be made. The best cases provide all the essential background and detail that the decision-maker had at his or her disposal, with enough narrative momentum to make it engaging — but without implying a judgment or suggesting a preferred path. In the classroom, cases can yield surprising and profound insights from the student conversation managed by the instructor. In contrast to the uniformity of the format and quality of the cases themselves, these notes are extremely diverse in their approaches and usefulness. Part of this unevenness simply reflects that a well-written case can be used for a wide variety of purposes — some never envisioned by the writer — making a comprehensive teaching note difficult. But it also reflects that writing a great case and effectively analyzing one involve fundamentally different skill sets. Professor Koehn has written more than 20 Harvard case studies.
Each of us will be faced with a crisis at some point in our lives. We will either lead or be led through it. Either way, author Nancy Koehn in her first book for popular audience identifies five ordinary individuals in history who persevere through their own crisis to become the leaders we are to emulate or who we would be wise look for to lead us. As my husband and I sat there sipping our morning coffee, I marveled at the contrast between the Nancy Koehn and the other authors. Koehn spoke with such passion and enthusiasm when given the chance about not only the topic of leadership, but the historical leaders upon which her book is based. I purchased the gift myself shortly after the Christmas holiday.