About the Crisis Leadership Forum

To better understand the leadership dimensions of crisis situations, the Center for Creative Leadership convened a forum with formal and emergent leaders who played a role in Hurricane Katrina. We overlaid this conversation between crisis leaders with the perspectives of discussants with expertise in disaster, terrorism, public health, and leadership. This blog site is intended to continue this conversation.

To read the report on the Crisis Leadership Forum, please click here.

To read CCL's Leading Effectively newsletter on the Forum, please click here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Leadership Lessons from the 1996 Mt. Everest Tragedy and other Disasters

HBS Working Knowledge, a forum for innovation in business practice, has recently pulled together a collection of archival articles that address key leadership challenges in times of disaster. In Sharpening Your Skills: Disaster! the authors of four case studies present lessons for today’s leaders from important historical events such as 1996 Mt. Everest tragedy and Sir Ernest Shackleton’s trek across Antarctica.

The case studies address questions such as:

  • How does disaster change leadership goals?
  • What signals should leaders send during a crisis?
  • How should organizations learn from failure?
  • Can leaders anticipate disaster?

These are important questions. As was reflected in the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina in the Stepping into the Void report, crises, whether isolated on a mountain top or spread over miles of land, requires a response that pushes both individual and collective leadership capacities. Extraordinary circumstances require equally extraordinary responses from both formal and emergent leaders who are willing and able to step into the void when physical and human systems collapse.

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