PART TWO Identity and Leader Behavior in High Stakes

chapter NINE

The Heroic Leader in Crisis

In Chapter Eight, I described how rising personal stakes and toxic themes escalate our voices into tense moral registers. This chapter continues that theme of moral voices, extending it to the heroic modes that leaders don when they see the stakes as very high. These are important dynamics for leaders to acknowledge in themselves and to recognize in other leaders with whom they interact.

When leaders perceive a state of crisis, they take on one of three mantles or postures of moral justice based on their own deep stories and behavioral profiles: prosecutor, adjudicator, or advocate. In concert with these postures, they also begin to express themselves ...

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