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The Future of Leadership: Today's Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow's Leaders by Gretchen M. Spreitzer, Warren Bennis, Thomas G. Cummings

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Chapter Fifteen

Heroic Leadership's Greatest Battle

The Defeat of Disappointment Versus the Disappointment of Defeat

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

Various bromides greet us amid losses regarding how we must squeeze the lemons of life into lemonade. For leaders, however, life's adversity can turn hard-earned assets into monumental barriers to recovery. Leaders can enjoy such resources as great popular recognition, vast networks of supporters, and gushing pools of finances. Yet celebrity, popularity, and wealth do not insulate them from fate.

There is no cruise control for leaders to coast on the momentum of recent triumphs. Today's evidence of good fortune could evaporate with tomorrow's events.

This point is dramatized well for us in the headlines. Professors ...

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