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Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity
     

Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity

by Steven Snyder
 

See All Formats & Editions

All Leaders Face Adversity. Exceptional Leaders Thrive in It. Leadership is often a struggle, and yet strong taboos keep us from talking openly and honestly about our difficulties for fear of looking weak and seeming to lack confidence. But Steven Snyder shows that this discussion is vital—adversity is precisely what unlocks our greatest potential. Using

Overview

All Leaders Face Adversity. Exceptional Leaders Thrive in It. Leadership is often a struggle, and yet strong taboos keep us from talking openly and honestly about our difficulties for fear of looking weak and seeming to lack confidence. But Steven Snyder shows that this discussion is vital—adversity is precisely what unlocks our greatest potential. Using real-life stories drawn from his extensive research studying 151 diverse episodes of leadership struggle—as well as from his experiences working with Bill Gates in the early years of Microsoft and as a CEO and executive coach—Snyder shows how to navigate intense challenges to achieve personal growth and organizational success. He details strategies for embracing struggle and offers a host of unique tools and hands-on practices to help you implement them. By mastering the art of struggle, you’ll be better equipped to meet life’s challenges and focus on what matters most. “Leadership and the Art of Struggle provides you with the opportunity to learn from Snyder’s remarkable wisdom. It is a living guide that you can return to time and time again as new situations arise.” —From the foreword by Bill George, former CEO, Medtronic; Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School; and author of the bestselling True North “The leadership book of the year…one of the most intelligent, revealing, and practical books on the subject I have ever read. It confronts a vital truth: that challenge is the crucible for greatness and that these adversities introduce us to ourselves.” —Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge “Steven Snyder covers all the bases from channeling your energy to managing conflict, including a great segment about overcoming your leadership blind spots...This encouraging book is a must-read!” —Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Great Leaders Grow “Leadership and the Art of the Struggle gives you clear and compelling advice on transforming pitfalls into possibilities.” —Jodee Kozlak, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Target

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Because of the subject's perennial popularity, authors continue to find new ways to write about leadership. Here consultant and former Microsoft executive Snyder suggests that all leaders will face struggle and should hone their skills in its wake or, rather, in anticipation of it. The book is well organized, proceeding logically through its three sections on ways to lead in the face of adversity: by grounding yourself, exploring new pathways, and deepening your adaptive energy. While not a scintillating read, the text is logical and the author offers "reflection exercises" that will help readers to enact the suggested strategies. VERDICT Fans of conventional business books that are heavily focused on case studies will get the most out of this book; those not in leadership positions might find useful information here for learning from tough times.—Sarah Statz Cords, Reader's Advisor Online, Middleton, WI
Publishers Weekly
Leadership is never as easy as it looks and that's exactly as it should be, says executive, entrepreneur, and leadership coach Snyder, currently executive-in-residence at Minnesota's University of St. Thomas. Leadership requires extreme courage and strength, but as Snyder argues, the best leaders have to get past the expectation of perfection while still striving for greatness. The author asked corporate, nonprofit, and government leaders to speak to the times of struggle in their careers and shares 151 of these stories to illustrate how the acceptance of the hard work of leadership can create true greatness. Snyder walks readers through the all-important steps of what he terms "The Pathway to Adaptive Energy": becoming grounded, exploring new pathways, and deepening adaptive energy. In addition, he addresses the everyday difficulties of beating self-doubt, facing change, establishing balance, and getting the necessary support. This is a practical, thoughtful guide to creating sanity, as well as "purpose and meaning" within leadership.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
“Leadership and the Art of Struggle provides you with the opportunity to learn from Snyder’s remarkable wisdom. It is a living guide that you can return to time and time again as new situations arise.”
—From the foreword by Bill George, former CEO, Medtronic; Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School; and author of the bestselling True North

“Steven Snyder’s Leadership and the Art of Struggle is the must-read leadership book of the year. It is one of the most intelligent, revealing, and practical books on the subject I have ever read. It confronts a vital truth about leadership: that challenge is the crucible for greatness and that these adversities introduce us to ourselves. Buy this book immediately, read it with a sense of urgency, and apply it with the commitment of a disciple. You and those you work with will benefit greatly when you do.”
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge

“Steven Snyder covers all the bases from channeling your energy to managing conflict, including a great segment about overcoming your leadership blind spots. Leadership and the Art of Struggle is full of real-life examples of leaders who emerged from tough times better and stronger than before. This encouraging book is a must-read!”
—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Great Leaders Grow

“The leadership journey is rewarding but definitely not easy. Leadership and the Art of the Struggle gives you clear and compelling advice on transforming pitfalls into possibilities.”
—Jodee Kozlak, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Target

“A very fresh and inspiring perspective that constructively embraces the natural tensions that all leaders encounter every day. I heartily recommend it to any leader who aspires to lead and contribute more fully.”
—Douglas R. Conant, former President, CEO, and Director, Campbell Soup Company, and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller TouchPoints

“Steven courageously confronts the element of struggle, which is frequently overlooked in all the leadership hoopla. It’s time we had an open and honest conversation about this integral and vital aspect of leadership.”
—Ken Melrose, former CEO, Toro

“Steven guides you on a journey that can be deeply fulfilling as well as enlightening. I recommend this book for any leader who wants to engage more authentically and constructively in a complex and ever-changing world.”
—Mary Brainerd, CEO, HealthPartners

“Leadership and the Art of Struggle contains compelling stories of great leaders who have struggled with various facets of their leadership responsibility. It offers practical advice and tools to help you deal more effectively with the inevitable struggles of leadership.”
—Trudy Rautio, President and CEO, Carlson

“If you are leading an organization of any kind today or desire to lead one in the future, you need to read this book.”
—Frank Russomanno, former CEO, Imation

“Snyder has opened an intriguing and insightful portal into the challenge of leadership. You’ll be inspired and invigorated with ideas that you can immediately put into action.”
—Kevin Wilde, Chief Learning Officer, General Mills, and author of Dancing with the Talent Stars

“Life in a start-up is chaotic, intense, and unpredictable. Snyder knows this world well and gives you sage advice on how to remain grounded, focused, and energized. This is a book that every entrepreneur or would-be entrepreneur should read.”
—Michael Gorman, Managing Director, Split Rock Partners

“Snyder boldly tackles a subject that every leader needs to master. Sometimes leadership is a struggle, and these are the times that really put us to the test. This insightful book will teach you how to thrive during life’s most challenging moments.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author of Mojo and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“This book resonates to the core. It gives us grounding and offers precise practices for locating our work deep in the soul. Steven makes the dive into the waters of purposeful living and leading deep and attractive. What a delightful dive!”
—Richard Leider, bestselling author of The Power of Purpose and coauthor of Repacking Your Bags

“The French writer Albert Camus tells us, ‘In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.’ Snyder wisely observes that we can best strike a blow against tragedy and disappointment by using them as inspiration to make a positive difference in the lives of others through our personal leadership.”
—-Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman, Carlson

“This is the right book for these times. Leadership has become more difficult in the chaotic world we live in; Steven acknowledges that and draws on his own deep experience and the lessons learned of others to help any new, aspiring, or well-worn leader!”
—Beverly Kaye, founder of Career Systems International and coauthor of Love ’Em or Lose ’Em and Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go

“Leadership and the Art of Struggle deserves to be a leadership classic! Snyder brilliantly charts a course to strengthen ourselves through the important crucibles of challenge and adversity. If you want to build more authentic leadership in yourself and others, get this life-changing book!”
—Kevin Cashman, Senior Partner, Korn/Ferry International, and bestselling author of The Pause Principle and Leadership from the Inside Out

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609946463
Publisher:
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
02/08/2013
Series:
BK Business
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
File size:
3 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Leadership and the Art of Struggle

How Great Leaders Grow through Challenge and Adversity
By Steven Snyder

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Steven Snyder
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-60994-646-3


Chapter One

Struggle Is Not a Four-Letter Word

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before—more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.

—Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Rita Marshall's talents for crafting great public relations (PR) campaigns propelled her into a managerial position by the age of 30. Soon after arriving at her new company, she encountered her first leadership struggle.

Marshall was working as a PR professional in an advertising agency. The two disciplines—advertising and public relations—are very different, with dissimilar business models, nomenclatures, and rhythms for engaging with clients. Before she stepped into a formal leadership role, these differences, while minor annoyances, had not directly concerned her. With her new responsibilities, however, came new pressures. Now she had to find a way to make her company's advertising-oriented policies relevant and meaningful to her PR team, all the while motivating them to achieve results. She found it especially challenging to be working with different players, customs, and rules.

During our interview Marshall told me: "I was tasked with being a leader to grow this division, and yet we had an Excel grid to track projects and progress and touch points that didn't even match up to the types of projects and deliverables that we had on the other side of the business. Even the words were different. You want your team focused on the work and the deliverables for the client, and yet they were getting caught up in internal details for administering the business."

Greatly outnumbered, and with an advertising-oriented boss who had a different view of public relations, Marshall started to feel disillusioned and alone. Her boss began to cast doubt on her leadership, which caused her to doubt herself: "There was a point where I just thought, Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I don't know what I'm doing. Maybe they shouldn't put me out there in front of clients. I guess I just don't have it. And that's a very frustrating thing when you're trying to lead, when you have self-doubts and your team is looking to you."

Marshall's self-doubts made matters worse. She found it difficult to lead with conviction and became frustrated with a culture that seemed to be blocking her progress. She had to do something. But what?

The Paradox of the Positive

Over the past several decades, the positive psychology movement has gained considerable momentum. It cascades into all areas of life—at work, with friends, in the community—subtly (and at times not so subtly), nudging a positive spin. All in all this is a good thing. Positive energy begets more positive energy. And numerous psychological studies show that when people feel optimistic and confident, they approach life with more vigor, have more-pleasant relationships, and are just plain happier.

Yet the full-throated emphasis on the positive comes at a price. The way that many organizational cultures internalize the principles of positive psychology actually undermines the very intentions of the movement. Indeed, positive psychology does not advocate ignoring the daunting life challenges that other branches of psychology attempt to treat; it is simply a call to pay as much attention to strengths as psychologists have historically given to weaknesses. This "be positive at all costs" misinterpretation can trigger unintentional consequences as it seeps into the cultural bloodstream. For instance, tuning out all negative thoughts and emotions can be a roadblock to the honest conversations people need to have with themselves and with others.

The parallels between cultural attitudes toward positivity and the view of struggle are striking. Like anything other than perpetual cheerfulness, struggle is commonly seen as a sign of weakness, a notion reinforced through a labyrinth of implicit messages. Many leaders unconsciously categorize the word struggle as negative and off-putting, a taboo, which makes dealing with struggle even more difficult than it needs to be.

This can become especially problematic when leaders find themselves facing significant challenges. When external pressures for positive spin create dissonance with reality, leaders may ignore the incongruity they feel in their guts and stifle the candid conversations that could guide them forward. They may unconsciously compare themselves with others and allow this comparison to diminish their self-image and curb their potential. They may fall into the trap of thinking that leaders are supposed to be perfect—or at least perfectly capable of dealing with struggle. Consequently, they can feel embarrassed and stigmatized, thinking, Something must be wrong with me. I'm not like all the other successful leaders out there.

But of course no leader is perfect. All human beings have their own unique flaws and frailties. And of course struggle is a natural part of leadership. Dick Schulze, founder and former CEO of consumer electronics giant Best Buy, who built the company to more than $50 billion in sales with over 180,000 employees, said it best when he told me: "I don't think that there has been a year in my 45 with the company that hasn't been beset with struggle."

Schulze then added:

With every episode of struggle, there is a learning opportunity.

Resolving the Paradox

The solution to the positivity paradox is relatively simple, but it demands a leap of faith. Instead of denying struggle, or feeling some degree of shame, savvy leaders embrace struggle as an opportunity for growth and learning, as an art to be mastered. They come to see struggle as a universal rite of passage without allowing themselves to become mired in it. They trust that engaging earnestly with struggle will ultimately take them to a better place, heightening their awareness of themselves and others and opening their minds to possibilities they may not have otherwise imagined.

Examples abound of prominent leaders who fail in a specific pursuit but who emerge stronger and more resilient from the experience. Had it not been for President John F. Kennedy's failure in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, he might not have gained the wisdom needed to meet the greatest challenge of his presidency 18 months later: the Cuban Missile Crisis, which imperiled the very survival of the human race.

Clearly, struggle and leadership are intertwined. Teaming the courage to confront conflict with openness to new learning and the energy of positive thinking can turn struggle into transformation, paving the way for accelerated growth and development. The more that leaders move away from negative stereotypes and welcome a new relationship with struggle, the more they leave room for new possibilities to emerge. They begin asking better questions and recognizing the positive aspects of struggle. Shedding old assumptions, they free themselves to engage differently with the world around them, shaping their conversations to be more open and adaptive.

Two Stories of Struggle

Allow me to introduce you to two remarkable leaders whose struggle stories are vastly different. One was thrust into a top leadership job during a time of crisis; the other strove to fulfill a vision so ambitious and far-reaching that it seemed beyond the scope of human achievement.

Anne Mulcahy

In 2008 Anne Mulcahy was named CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine for her work at Xerox Corporation. Eight years earlier few would have predicted it.

In May 2000 Xerox was in turmoil. The board had abruptly fired G. Richard Th oman as CEO after a very brief tenure and brought back his predecessor, Paul Allaire, who personally recruited Mulcahy as president/chief operating officer (COO). By October, Mulcahy began to understand just how bad things were. Third-quarter earnings had missed analysts' expectations, and the company was close to declaring bankruptcy. Mulcahy candidly remarked on an October 3 investor conference call, "Xerox's business model is unsustainable." That simple comment sent the stock price nose-diving and set the stage for an extraordinary story of leadership growth and corporate transformation.

Shortly after that conference call, Mulcahy needed to make one of the most important decisions of her career: whether to seek bankruptcy protection or try to reverse the hemorrhaging of cash that was pushing the company close to insolvency. The company's financial advisers strongly recommended the bankruptcy route, but Mulcahy had a different vision. She felt bankruptcy would tarnish the reputation of the venerable company she had come to dearly love over her 25 years of employment there.

Instead, Mulcahy set the company down a path of pruning expenses and selling off business units, all the while preserving core assets essential to the rebuilding efforts. One of the core assets she preserved was the company's fledgling color-printing and copying business. In 2000 large-scale color printing was still in its infancy, but Mulcahy placed a big bet that the ensuing decade would see huge growth. She was right. By 2007, 40 percent of Xerox's total revenue would come from color printing, and Xerox products would capture the highest market share.

Early in her tenure as president/COO, Mulcahy met personally with key customers and the company's top 100 leaders, sharing her passion and enthusiasm and convincing them to remain loyal during this difficult time. She told her sales force: "I will go anywhere, anytime, to save a Xerox customer."

Her mission was nothing short of "restoring Xerox to a great company once again." But the path to get there would be dogged with adversity. "There were many near-death moments when we weren't sure the company could get through the crisis," she admitted.

Not only was the company's survival at stake but the struggle cut to the very core of Mulcahy's identity. "One day I had just flown back from Japan," she said. "I came back to the office and found it had been a dismal day. At around 8:30 p.m. on my way home, I pulled over to the side of the Merritt Parkway and said to myself, I don't know where to go. I don't want to go home. There's just no place to go."

In the midst of her despair, Mulcahy checked her voice mail and found a supportive message from one of her colleagues telling her how much everyone believed in her and the company. "That was all I needed to just drive home, and get up again the next morning," she said.

Mulcahy's leadership growth is even more remarkable when you consider her background. She had come through the ranks in sales, spent time in human resources, and had just become the general manager of a small, out-of-the-way business unit when she was tapped for the role of president/COO.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Mulcahy's background is that she had very little financial training. She had never held a financial management job and felt clearly over her head as she navigated the hostile financial waters of disappointing earnings, stock market declines, and angry analysts.

Mulcahy's untimely remark during the October 3, 2000, investor conference call is a good example of her financial inexperience. Her bold statement that Xerox's business model was unsustainable may have been accurate, although there were undoubtedly more market-sensitive ways to communicate Xerox's shaky financial status while still remaining authentic as a leader.

Fortunately, Mulcahy sought out capable mentors who helped her recover from that early misstep. In 2002, a year after being promoted to CEO, she personally renegotiated a $7 billion revolving line of credit, pulling together a consortium of 58 banks that needed to approve the deal. In the process she went toe to toe with Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill, successfully securing his commitment to personally reel in three holdout banks.

Mulcahy would summarize her experience as follows: "This was a job that would dramatically change my life, requiring every ounce of energy that I had. I never expected to be CEO, nor was I groomed for it."

Bill Gates

In marked contrast to Anne Mulcahy, Bill Gates envisioned himself as a CEO at a very young age, and at every step in his career he took proactive measures to hone the skills he needed to actualize his vision.

I began working closely with Bill Gates in 1983, when I served as Microsoft 's liaison with IBM. At 28 I was just a year older than Bill. Microsoft, like the personal computer industry itself, was gaining traction. Still, with just $50 million in revenue and 250 employees, it was light years away from becoming the $74 billion behemoth it is today.

About two years into my tenure, Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, and I were on an airplane flying back to Seattle from a successful meeting with IBM in Boca Raton. Bill and Steve were sitting together; I was a few rows forward with an empty seat next to me. In the middle of the flight, Bill came over to sit with me. After briefly talking about our development tools business, he asked me to become the general manager of the group.

I knew what a big deal that was to Bill. He was entrusting me with the company's legacy. Microsoft got its start back in 1975 when Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote the first BASIC Interpreter (one of the products in the development tools area) and licensed it to MITS on the first personal computer, the Altair.

By 1985 Microsoft 's product line had blossomed into a number of programming languages, including Assembler, BASIC, C, COBOL, Fortran, and Pascal. But its business had come under fire by an upstart called Borland International. Borland sold more than 500,000 units of Turbo Pascal and became the dominant player in that market, decimating our Pascal business. All of us knew that it was just a matter of time before Borland would launch an assault on our C product as well as on our flagship BASIC.

Putting me in charge of this group meant that Bill had crossed a psychological hurdle that he had wrestled with for a while. He knew that as our businesses evolved, it would be necessary to appoint general managers who could oversee all aspects of product strategy, marketing, and development. This new cadre of leaders would have the skills to formulate business strategy, assess market threats and opportunities, evaluate strategic alternatives, and focus resources on the most productive path.

But there was one problem. It would mean violating what Bill held as almost a sacred principle of leadership. Bill's name for this violation was the "inverted hierarchy," a situation in which a technical manager reports to a boss who is less technically qualified. Its very name implies that something is topsy-turvy.

Bill's reason for respecting the sanctity of the technical hierarchy stemmed from his core belief that the best way to motivate soft ware engineers was to have them supervised by people who were more technically qualified, whom they would learn from and respect. This model had worked extremely well for Microsoft in the decade since its inception.

Bill had begun to rethink this approach a year earlier, when he created two divisions—the Applications Division and the Systems Division—each core to Microsoft 's business at the time. He put his trusted college friend Steve Ballmer in charge of the Systems Division, while Bill led the Applications Division himself. Creating a business unit for our development tools business meant pushing the inverted hierarchy down one more level. While Bill knew of the risks involved, he could also see the competitive landscape unfolding with Borland. If he did not act, Borland would wreak havoc when it invaded Microsoft 's turf of C and BASIC.

When I look back, I now understand the intuitive leap of faith that Bill took to make this move. Technical excellence was at the core of Microsoft 's competitive strategy, and its soft ware engineers were Microsoft 's crown jewel. Now Bill would need to give up a key aspect of his leadership model that had driven the company's success for its first decade.

I would observe numerous other examples of Bill's growth as a leader as we continued to work together over the next several years. One such example came as we were preparing the launch plans for our new BASIC and C products in 1987, launches that would leapfrog Borland with potentially game-changing innovations.

Part of our plan was to tap into the energy of computer user groups, whose members were key influencers in the fledgling market for development tools. Remembering the excitement that rippled through the crowd when Steve Jobs spoke at the Boston Computer Society event, I envisioned Bill as our keynote speaker. I figured we could easily draw 1,500 people at a launch event, quickly building momentum.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Leadership and the Art of Struggle by Steven Snyder Copyright © 2013 by Steven Snyder. Excerpted by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Leadership and the Art of Struggle provides you with the opportunity to learn from Snyder’s remarkable wisdom. It is a living guide that you can return to time and time again as new situations arise.”
—From the foreword by Bill George, former CEO, Medtronic; Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School; and author of the bestselling True North

“Steven Snyder’s Leadership and the Art of Struggle is the must-read leadership book of the year. It is one of the most intelligent, revealing, and practical books on the subject I have ever read. It confronts a vital truth about leadership: that challenge is the crucible for greatness and that these adversities introduce us to ourselves. Buy this book immediately, read it with a sense of urgency, and apply it with the commitment of a disciple. You and those you work with will benefit greatly when you do.”
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge

“Steven Snyder covers all the bases from channeling your energy to managing conflict, including a great segment about overcoming your leadership blind spots. Leadership and the Art of Struggle is full of real-life examples of leaders who emerged from tough times better and stronger than before. This encouraging book is a must-read!”
—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Great Leaders Grow

“The leadership journey is rewarding but definitely not easy. Leadership and the Art of the Struggle gives you clear and compelling advice on transforming pitfalls into possibilities.”
—Jodee Kozlak, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Target

“A very fresh and inspiring perspective that constructively embraces the natural tensions that all leaders encounter every day. I heartily recommend it to any leader who aspires to lead and contribute more fully.”
—Douglas R. Conant, former President, CEO, and Director, Campbell Soup Company, and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller TouchPoints

“Steven courageously confronts the element of struggle, which is frequently overlooked in all the leadership hoopla. It’s time we had an open and honest conversation about this integral and vital aspect of leadership.”
—Ken Melrose, former CEO, Toro

“Steven guides you on a journey that can be deeply fulfilling as well as enlightening. I recommend this book for any leader who wants to engage more authentically and constructively in a complex and ever-changing world.”
—Mary Brainerd, CEO, HealthPartners

“Leadership and the Art of Struggle contains compelling stories of great leaders who have struggled with various facets of their leadership responsibility. It offers practical advice and tools to help you deal more effectively with the inevitable struggles of leadership.”
—Trudy Rautio, President and CEO, Carlson

“If you are leading an organization of any kind today or desire to lead one in the future, you need to read this book.”
—Frank Russomanno, former CEO, Imation

“Snyder has opened an intriguing and insightful portal into the challenge of leadership. You’ll be inspired and invigorated with ideas that you can immediately put into action.”
—Kevin Wilde, Chief Learning Officer, General Mills, and author of Dancing with the Talent Stars

“Life in a start-up is chaotic, intense, and unpredictable. Snyder knows this world well and gives you sage advice on how to remain grounded, focused, and energized. This is a book that every entrepreneur or would-be entrepreneur should read.”
—Michael Gorman, Managing Director, Split Rock Partners

“Snyder boldly tackles a subject that every leader needs to master. Sometimes leadership is a struggle, and these are the times that really put us to the test. This insightful book will teach you how to thrive during life’s most challenging moments.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author of Mojo and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“This book resonates to the core. It gives us grounding and offers precise practices for locating our work deep in the soul. Steven makes the dive into the waters of purposeful living and leading deep and attractive. What a delightful dive!”
—Richard Leider, bestselling author of The Power of Purpose and coauthor of Repacking Your Bags

“The French writer Albert Camus tells us, ‘In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.’ Snyder wisely observes that we can best strike a blow against tragedy and disappointment by using them as inspiration to make a positive difference in the lives of others through our personal leadership.”
—-Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman, Carlson

“This is the right book for these times. Leadership has become more difficult in the chaotic world we live in; Steven acknowledges that and draws on his own deep experience and the lessons learned of others to help any new, aspiring, or well-worn leader!”
—Beverly Kaye, founder of Career Systems International and coauthor of Love ’Em or Lose ’Em and Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go

“Leadership and the Art of Struggle deserves to be a leadership classic! Snyder brilliantly charts a course to strengthen ourselves through the important crucibles of challenge and adversity. If you want to build more authentic leadership in yourself and others, get this life-changing book!”
—Kevin Cashman, Senior Partner, Korn/Ferry International, and bestselling author of The Pause Principle and Leadership from the Inside Out

Meet the Author

Steven Snyder is the founder of Snyder Leadership Group, an organizational consulting firm dedicated to cultivating inspired leadership. He is also an executive fellow in leadership at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Snyder was an early executive at Microsoft, where he managed the company’s relationship with IBM and was the general manager of a business unit. Later, Snyder became CEO of the Internet startup Net Perceptions, where he won the World Technology Award for Commerce.

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