Saturday, October 31, 2009

Learning Leadership from Extreme Situations

Recently I finished reading COL Tom Kolditz's In Extremis Leadership: Leading as if Your Life Depended on It. Using his experience both in combat as well as a sky diver and Officer in Charge of West Point's skydiving team, COL Kolditz discusses how extreme situations, what he calls "in extremis" teach individuals how to lead.

In extreme circumstances, when significant matters are at risk, such as lives, the leader focuses the leader on what is important. It also focuses the followers on what is important.

While most of us in the business world will rarely face an extreme situation, we can all benefit from these lessons. Learning from the experience of others is a time-honored way to learn and, who knows, we may be the one called to make the tough decision that saves or sinks the organization (and the impact it can have on others).

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