The AMA Handbook of Leadership

By Marshall Goldsmith; John Baldoni et al. | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger—
but recognize the opportunity.”

—JOHN F. KENNEDY (1917–1963), Speech in Indianapolis,
April 12, 1959

Leading people has never been an easy task. And today, leaders have the immensely difficult job of forging a path into uncharted territories of global proportion. Amid a constantly changing business environment, sometimes confusing and often overwhelming information, and a requirement to please a variety of stakeholders, leaders are understandably often uncertain as to the right thing to do, the best avenue to take, the precise decision to make that will lead to success—and during some periods, especially of late, even survival.

As participants in and scholars of this world of incredible change, we put our heads together to see how we might contribute to—help forge, if you will—a path to a bright future. This contemplation on the crises of today, which leaders navigate on a daily basis, led us to consider where the opportunities lie. We discovered the opportunity in our great network of thought leaders. We decided to ask the world's greatest thought leaders in the fields of management and leadership to give us their ideas on the current state of the world. More specifically, we asked them: In your area of expertise, what are the trends, issues, and challenges facing leaders today and how can they lead through them successfully? Their insightful and visionary answers are encapsulated in the pages of this book.

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