Crucibles of Leadership: How to Learn from Experience to Become a Great Leader

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Overview


Experience may be a leader's best teacher--but there's a hitch. Two people can have identical experiences, but one blossoms while the other is depleted. The same can be said for any pair of fired CEOs, unsuccessful political candidates, or rookie supervisors.

In Crucibles of Leadership, Robert J. Thomas concludes that what matters most is what one makes of experience, particularly the traumatic and often unplanned crucible events that challenge one's identity as a leader. What ...

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Crucibles of Leadership: How to Learn from Experience to Become a Great Leader

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Overview


Experience may be a leader's best teacher--but there's a hitch. Two people can have identical experiences, but one blossoms while the other is depleted. The same can be said for any pair of fired CEOs, unsuccessful political candidates, or rookie supervisors.

In Crucibles of Leadership, Robert J. Thomas concludes that what matters most is what one makes of experience, particularly the traumatic and often unplanned crucible events that challenge one's identity as a leader. What distinguishes leaders who grow through a crucible experience? Their approach to learning. Like accomplished athletes or artists, they practice as strenuously as they perform. And because the line between performance and practice is often hard to discern, they learn how to practice while they perform.

But theirs is no ordinary practice. It's a regimen tailored to individual aspirations, motivations, and learning styles--a Personal Learning Strategy. Building on insightful and moving stories told by accomplished leaders, Thomas offers probing self-assessments and innovative tools designed to help you develop your own Personal Learning Strategy.

Provocative and original, with examples drawn from business and politics as well as from the inner workings of the Mormon Church and the Hell's Angels, Thomas's book will revolutionize the way you think about leadership and learning.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591391371
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 3/18/2008
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 432,308
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert J. Thomas is Executive Director of Accenture's Institute for High Performance Business and Galvin Professor of Leadership at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He co-authored Geeks and Geezers: How Era, Values and Defining Moments Shape Leaders with Warren Bennis.
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Table of Contents

Foreword   Warren G. Bennis     vii
Preface and Acknowledgments     xi
Experience Matters-But Then What?
How Do You Find What Matters in Experience?     3
Extracting Insight from Experience     17
Inside the Crucible: Learning and Leading with Resilience     43
Leaders as Expert Performers: Practice Can Trump Talent     59
Crafting a Personal Learning Strategy
The Core of a Personal Learning Strategy: Recognizing and Transforming Crucible Experiences     85
Exploring Your Capabilities: Begin with a Candid Self-Assessment     113
Creating Your Own Personal Learning Strategy: A Step-by-Step Approach     153
The Big Picture
Experience-Based Leader Development: The Organizational Dimension     185
Invigorating the Practice of Leadership: Aligning Organizational Needs with Individual Capabilities     213
Notes     233
Index     249
About the Author     265
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A guide on how you can leverage experience to learn about leadership

    Most great leaders are great because they¿ve been through the fire. That is, they¿ve performed admirably, even gallantly, during a particularly difficult experience ¿ a searing, unforgettable crucible or test ¿ in their past. The experience molded them and taught them about life and leadership. These leaders continue to apply the tough lessons they learned to the current obstacles they face. Robert J. Thomas has studied leadership the way a particle physicist tracks photons and neutrinos. His research indicates that experience ¿ and even more, learning from experience ¿ separates those who lead from those who are led. Thomas explains how you can develop your own Personal Learning Strategy to develop and enhance your leadership skills. Bringing his own leadership and research credentials to bear, he explains how you can teach yourself to become a leader. getAbstract recommends his book to executive leaders and management leaders in training.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

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