Forged in Crisis: The Making of Five Courageous Leaders

May 15, 2018|
Forged in Crisis: The Making of Five Courageous Leaders by Nancy Koehn
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A WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER

“Five gritty leaders whose extraordinary passion and perseverance changed history…a gripping read on a timeless and timely topic” —Angela Duckworth, #1 bestselling author of Grit

An enthralling historical narrative filled with critical leadership insights, 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.

Whether it’s read as a repository of great insight or as exceptionally rendered human drama, Forged in Crisis stands as a towering achievement.
Nancy Koehn is an historian at the Harvard Business School where she holds the James E. Robison chair of Business Administration. She has coached leaders from many organizations and speaks frequently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Aspen Ideas Festival, and the World Business Forum. An accomplished author and scholar (she ear...
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Title:Forged in Crisis: The Making of Five Courageous Leaders
Format:Paperback
Product dimensions:544 pages, 9 X 6 X 1.4 in
Shipping dimensions:544 pages, 9 X 6 X 1.4 in
Published:May 15, 2018
Publisher:Scribner
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9781501174452

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