Lessons from Crisis Leadership

My latest case study for the Harvard Business Review appears in the March 2010 issue. I think that I may hold a record as it is my fifth. I enjoy writing these cases as they are fictional yet must be realistic. This lets me engage in character and plot development (getting harder in the new shorter format) as well as exploring actual organizational and leadership dilemmas.

This one, “The CEO Can’t Afford to Panic,” draws on the work I’ve done in conjunction with Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI). There, we observe and analyze leaders in high stakes, high stress situations such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks. I’m working to help generalize those lessons so that they are useful to people in more “mundane” situations such as product recalls, mergers and acquisitions, layoffs, turnarounds, and even positive events such as product launches.

I’ve learned a lot through this process working with Dr. Leonard Marcus, Dr. Barry Dorn,  Dr. Isaac Ashkenazi and the rest of the NPLI faculty and students — and am sure to learn much more as we are moving forward on a book on “meta-leadership” — the framework created at the NPLI.

Note: HBR charges for most of its content so you only get to read the complete case if you are a subscriber. I do, however, have a limited number of complimentary downloads. So, while they last, follow this link and read away:

https://archive.harvardbusiness.org/cla/web/pl/product.seam?c=3373&i=3375&cs=1056ec6498f8a894028cef5a2a361932

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