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A New Leadership Story

On October 17, 1989, the workday in San Francisco was just coming to an end. South of the city in Candlestick Park, thousands had gathered to watch Game 3 of the World Series. At 5:04 p.m., the Loma Prieta earthquake struck, shaking the Earth, shattering windows, knocking down buildings, and kicking up huge clouds of dust. Electricity was out throughout the entire city of San Francisco, so none of the traffic lights were working. Thousands of anxious people flooded out of the Financial District, inching their way home through a confused tangle of automobiles, cable cars, and pedestrians.

At Kearny and Pine, however, traffic was flowing freely. A homeless man, well known for his presence on one of the corners of this ...

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