Chapter 8

The Need for Courage

Every leader will come face to face with his or her darkest doubts. In these moments, the way forward is to move directly into one’s fear—to do the thing, address the person, or seek out the information that seems so terrifying.

—Nancy Koehn, Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times

Though the leaders my colleagues and I worked with and studied did not explicitly articulate to us what they considered their darkest doubts, they did—like all transformational leaders—have doubts and fears about how to lead change:

  • Ed Ludwig, as an inexperienced business-unit leader who looked even younger than he was, learned that the business he had been assigned to lead faced strategic challenges no ...

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