Reflecting on Leadership and the Boston Tragedy

Mile 23I have researched, written, and taught about crisis leadership for the past five years. It has always been interesting and at times truly exciting. I have gained great respect for responders through my work on the ground during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and in the aftermath of super storm Sandy. Yesterday, it all came home.

When bad things happen, writers write. Writing a post for HBR.org helped me process the tragic events of the day and, I hope, help others appreciate the role of leaders in the midst of crisis. I invite you to join the conversation and share your thoughts.

“It is in difficult times like these that we are hungriest for leadership, for people who can restore order, find the perpetrators, organize the aftermath, and help us find meaning and common purpose. People are wounded, whether physically or emotionally. Even those who only watched the events on television can feel the effects. Leaders, too, are affected — they’re only human. But leadership moments come unexpectedly for each of us.”

My deepest sympathies go out to those who lost someone in the bombing. So, too, go my sincerest thanks to those who rose to the challenge and helped the injured and frightened. I wish a speedy recovery to all of those who suffered injuries. We are resilient. We are strong.

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