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Forged in Crisis - Nancy Koehn


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Subtitle: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.


Did not pick up this book expecting business/investing insights.

But it's about leadership and I thought it would be relevant to do a review here.

May have practical value when watching a CEO "perform" either as a leader of one of your core holdings or as a key actor in a difficult situation (ie restructuring).

This book will stay with me and I highly recommend it.




The author, a historian, elegantly brings five historical characters to life.

1-Ernest Shackleton, a polar explorer

2-Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President

3-Frederick Douglass, an advocate and spokesman

4-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a young German minister

5-Rachel Carson, a scientist/author/activist


The chapters on President Lincoln show a man sometimes inhabited by doubts and frailty but at the same time determined to take what he considered to be the right path. I thought that the author's description fit nicely to the depiction of tranquil strength showed by Daniel-Day Lewis in the movie Lincoln. Impressive.

The chapters on Dietrich Bonhoeffer expands on the "price" to pay for your actions. Those familiar with the works of Hannah Arendt on personal responsibility may particularly appreciate the degree of moral commitment.

The author's most provocative proposition is that leaders are not born but made.

It must be terribly lonely at the top.


I got my copy from the local library but I have included a link above. 


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