In Extremis Leadership: Leading As If Your Life Depended On It
Thomas A Kolditz
Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:
In this extraordinary book Col. Kolditz explains that his research on in extremis leadership, where followers perceive their lives to be threatened, reveals that the leadership lessons and principles in evidence in dangerous settings also apply to leading in business and everyday life. The book shows how leadership literally defines the promise of hope or future life and that extremely capable leaders are needed in all walks of life. The book describes a variety of high-risk situations that are ideal settings to seek and find great leaders, assess how they might be different, and to glean valuable insights for extraordinary leadership in our everyday lives. Through heart-stopping real-life stories of leaders in these extreme situations, Kolditz insists that leaders at all levels can improve their effectiveness.
"In Extremis Leadership transforms the formerly anecdotal study of combat leadership into solid behavioral and social science that will improve leadership across the private, public, and social sectors." —General Eric Shinseki, U.S. Army, retired, former Chief of Staff
In this extraordinary book, Colonel Thomas Kolditz—a professor at West Point and an on-the-ground military leader—shows how extreme life-and-death leadership skills can offer profound lessons for leaders in any setting.
In a clear and compelling manner, Kolditz explains that his research on in extremis leadership situations, where followers perceive their lives to be threatened, reveals that the leadership lessons and principles in evidence in dangerous settings also apply to leading in business and everyday life. Kolditz describes a variety of high-risk situations that are ideal settings to seek and find great leaders, assess how they might be different, and glean valuable insights for extraordinary leadership in our everyday lives. Through heart-stopping real-life stories of leaders in these extreme situations, Kolditz insists that leaders at all levels can improve their effectiveness.
The book is filled with compelling in-depth interviews with such in extremis leaders as chiefs of SWAT teams, mountain-climbing guides, leaders of large-formation skydiving events, the U.S. Military Academy's national champion parachute team, and team leaders in football, wrestling, swimming, and rugby, as well as the first armored cavalry commander to roll his tanks into the fiery streets of Baghdad in 2003. Kolditz challenges us to learn from their experiences and honor their commitment and sacrifices by serving the people around us and leading as if our lives depended on it.
This authentic perspective on leadership will help cut through faddish, flavor-of-the-month leadership approaches and make anyone better at leading and being led.
"In Extremis Leadership is one of the most phenomenal books on leadership to come along in decades. It's a myth-busting, heart-stopping, mind-blowing account of what it's really like to lead in life-and-death situations."
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the best-selling The Leadership Challenge and A Leader's Legacy
"Colonel Kolditz is a visionary in the field of leadership training and development."
—David S. Corderman, head of the Office of Leadership Development, FBI Academy
"We should always lead as if our lives depended upon it! Colonel Kolditz shows us how."
—Marshall Goldsmith, author of the best-selling What Got You Here Won't Get You There
"In Extremis Leadership can help all leaders build stronger organizations and a more uplifting society."
—Henry Cisneros, chairman, City View, and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
"The parallels between leading in high-stakes business ventures and leading in dangerous contexts are compelling."
—Chris C. Casciato, partner, Goldman, Sachs & Company
"Great wisdom and riveting stories."
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School professor, and best-selling author, Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End
"Anyone in a leadership role can learn much from what it means to live, and lead, in extremis."
—John Alexander, president, Center for Creative Leadership
"Kolditz has successfully linked leading in dangerous contexts with the requirements of everyday leadership in an exciting read."
—Lieutenant General Franklin L. Hagenback, superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy
"This book charts a path to better understanding of leadership in the real world."
—Howard T. Prince II, retired Brig. Gen.., U.S. Army, and director, Center for Ethical Leadership at the University of Texas
"In Extremis Leadership helps us appreciate what is essential for leading— whatever the field."
—Michael Useem, professor of management, the Wharton School, and author of The Go Point
"This book will help students grow and develop their own philosophies of leadership."
—Brian Barefoot, president, Babson College
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About the Author
Colonel Thomas Kolditz is professor and head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The Leader to Leader Institute's mission is to strengthen leadership in the social sector. Established in 1990 as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, the Institute furthers its mission by providing social sector leaders with the essential leadership wisdom, inspiration, and resources needed to lead for innovation and to build vibrant social sector organizations.
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