Praise For Forged In Crisis
An outstanding rebuttal of the myth that leaders somehow have different DNA than ordinary people. Koehn’s profiles of legendary figures reveal that, in fact, none of these people were leadership naturals—rather, their abilities were forged by the challenges they confronted...Their example ought to inspire every aspiring leader to rise to the occasion.
William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies
As important and inspiring as it is urgent.
Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and three-term mayor of New York
This book moved me deeply and will stay with me. Simply put, it’s the most important, coherent, values-based, servant leadership book I've ever read... [As] Koehn persuasively shows, such selfless determination and the ability to make an extraordinary difference in the world are not beyond even the most ordinary among us. We are all forged by circumstance, and by conscious effort we can all become powerful weapons of virtue.
Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company
A close analysis of five gritty leaders whose extraordinary passion and perseverance changed history...a gripping read on a timeless and timely topic!
Angela Duckworth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grit
Nancy Koehn vividly shows the qualities shared by five of history's greatest leaders—and how we can all tap into those same qualities to overcome challenges and confront crises in our own lives. Forged in Crisis is an inspirational, insightful and indispensable guide to perseverance, wisdom and resilience.
Arianna Huffington, Founder of The Huffington Post and Founder and CEO of Thrive Global
A double triumph, artfully telling us the stories of five major historical figures while also providing wise insights into how they seized upon crises to grow as leaders. Each of the portraits will help leaders of today in coping with rapid, turbulent change. And here's an extra bonus: they are great reads.
David Gergen, Co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of Eyewitness to Power
Enthralling…a fascinating look at a varied group of heroes…Koehn’s call for her audience to emulate them strikes a pleasingly hopeful note for an era of partisan discord and lack of faith in leaders.
Koehn skillfully weaves together [her five leaders’] stories and the lessons, primary of which is ‘great leaders are made, not born.’… [The] stories are highly engaging (and well documented); in fact, many are transformed into nail-biting adventures….A book that quietly surpasses many so-called leadership tomes.
Booklist (Starred Review)
[An] engaging, unusually rewarding book…Throughout, Koehn underscores the great humanity and depth of understanding of these leaders…Wise, thoughtful, and valuable, this book will foster a new appreciation for effective leadership and prompt many readers to lament the lack of it in the world
Kirkus (Starred Review)
Impressive and important…Forged in Crisis is a perfect blend of vital history and engaging prose….Koehn's memorable, timely book is powerful. It reminds us that effective leaders are made—forged in crisis, not simply born. Restraint, compassion, and integrity have been, and will remain, among the timeless, requisite qualities of great leaders.
Christopher Rose , HugoBooks
Leadership is difficult to define, but we know it when we see it. At a time when it has become almost invisible at the national level, Nancy Koehn has performed the invaluable service of reminding us what it looks like in five superbly told tales of inspirational human courage. This book is dense with epiphanies that defy our current cowardly condition.
Joseph J. Ellis, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Founding Brothers and the National Book Award-winning American Sphinx
A remarkably insightful book, written in a style that is consistently engaging and absorbing... Koehn gives us one stunning example after another of individuals who endured deep loneliness while betting the ranch on a hard-to-predict outcome. We hold our breath along with them, and exhale when, after sometimes agonizing losses, they finally succeed—or fail gloriously... This book is a wonder—exactly the leadership roadmap needed for these challenging times.
Les Wexner, Chairman and CEO of L Brands
Emotionally gripping—so much so that it’s easy to forget one is reading nonfiction. The scenes have the pull of a great novel, continually coaxing us to turn pages. Perhaps it is this propulsive power that accounts for how thoroughly we take in the book’s insights. Long after Forged in Crisis has been set down, we reflect on what it teaches us about managing crisis. The demon—whatever it is—is never slain by a single bullet.
Joseph Nye, former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School and author of The Powers to Lead
Koehn’s well-written and incisive study helps to show us the way to a better nation. Wisely, she chooses to portray people from different races, genders, and eras, [carving] out a new and clearer definition of leadership in the world. In many ways, the book is like John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage. This is a very perceptive look at leadership in the modern era that taps leadership qualities from the past.
Bruce Chadwick, author of Law and Disorder, James and Dolly Madison, and The General and Mrs. Washington
A powerful and timely treatise on leadership, Forged in Crisis presents five compelling portraits of individuals who made a lasting impact on the world in times of extraordinary challenge. Nancy Koehn is a seriously talented historian who has a gift for mining the past to elucidate the present.
Graham Allison, former Assistant Secretary of State, and author of Essence of Decision and Destined for War
Vividly recreates the anguish and urgency felt by five trailblazing leaders in times of great adversity. With spirited prose that highlights crucial moments of testing and triumph, Nancy Koehn breathes life into the past as she shows what it takes to lead. In challenging times, this book is an essential read.
Zoë Baird, CEO and President, The Markle Foundation
Brave the Storm. Lead Courageously.
What qualities make a truly great leader? Harvard Business School professor and historian Nancy Koehn has spent a decade dissecting the lives of five leaders to make a powerful discovery: great leaders are made, not born and the power to lead resides in each of us. Forged in Crisis is her visionary epic, drawing from the past to bring critical lessons to the present. With its impact and timeliness, there is no other book like it.
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