Chapter 37. Learning for Leadership: Failure as a Second Chance

David L. Dotlich

James L. Noel

Norman Walker

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.


One of us met recently with the new CEO of a large company who was profiling his team of direct reports. As the CEO talked with us, he focused on the skills and background of each direct report. Impressed with the diversity of the group, we asked, "Is there anything that everyone on your team has in common?"

He nodded. "At one point or another, each one of us has been fired." The CEO said this proudly. To him, being fired was a badge of merit. His direct reports had been through tough times and learned from their experience. Because ...

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