8 Leadership Loopholes: The Houdini Effect

DOI: 10.4324/9781003439127-8

Harry Houdini is often touted as one of the world’s most famous illusionists. He’s also known as an escape artist or a stunt performer. In some of his illusion acts he was known for escaping from handcuffs or surviving being submerged in water tanks for prolonged periods of time. In short, he was a master of producing an illusion of the impossible becoming reality.

An illusionist can be defined as ‘an entertainer who performs tricks where objects seem to appear and then disappear’ (1). Does this concept apply to leadership? Are leaders illusionists? Will leaders have to master the art of escaping unfavorable situations along the career path in order to grow, be promoted ...

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