Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound after Career Disasters

Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound after Career Disasters

by Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, Andrew Ward


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Is it possible to rescue your career and restore your reputation after a major professional setback? In an age when we're bombarded with press accounts of disgraced CEOs, politicians, and celebrities, this question is more important than ever. In Firing Back, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Andrew Ward lay out a novel five-step recovery process: "Fight, not flight" (face the difficult situation), "Recruit others into battle" (enlist the right assistance), "Rebuild heroic stature" (spread the true nature of the adversity), "Prove your mettle" (regain trust and credibility), and "Rediscover the heroic mission" (clear the past and chart the future). Anchored in original research and decades of scholarly studies across fields, this book is packed with engrossing stories and first-hand accounts from humbled CEOs and executives from firms as esteemed as GE, The Home Depot, Morgan Stanley, Apple, Staples, and Hewlett-Packard. Firing Back offers a clear plan for any businessperson who needs to recover from career setbacks and reclaim lost prestige and reputation. The authors also identify common barriers to recovery that even seasoned executives can fall prey to, and explain how to surmount them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591393016
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 02/01/2007
Edition description: ANN
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld is the author of six leadership books, including the widely acclaimed The Hero’s Farewell, along with hundreds of scholarly articles. Frequently cited in the media, he is the Senior Associate Dean for Executive Programs at Yale University’s School of Management, where he is the Lester Crown Professor of Management Practice as well as founder and President of the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute. Andrew Ward is a member of the management faculty at the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, and author of The Leadership Lifecycle.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
The Disappointment of Defeat or the Defeat of Disappointment     1
Tragedies, Failures, and Setbacks-The Nature of Adversity     27
Societal Barriers to Recovery     53
Corporate Cultures as Barriers to Recovery     79
Departure Causes as Barriers to Recovery     113
Psychological Stresses as Barriers to Recovery     135
Fight, Not Flight-Facing Up to the Issue     163
Recruiting Others into Battle-Social Networks and Collateral Damage     185
Rebuilding Heroic Stature     205
Proving Your Mettle     225
Rediscovering Heroic Mission     241
Creating Triumph from Tragedy-Lessons Learned from Legends and Losers     259
Notes     215
Index     293
About the Authors     305

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