Crisis Leadership in Government
- Seven Hard Lessons Federal Responders to Harvey Learned from Katrina
Insights about why rescue efforts after Hurricane Harvey were faster and more robust than after Katrina.
- After Nairobi: Recovering from Terror, by Prudence Bushnell
Ambassador Bushnell describes how her team recovered after the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy Nairobi.
- Courage in Crisis
Article from GovExec.com about Ambassador Prudence Bushnell's efforts to stop the genocide in Rwanda.
- Leadership Behavior in a Crisis, by Martha Johnson
Suggests a useful methodology for gauging how you, as a leader, would react in a crisis.
- Leadership Lessons from the Shackleton Expedition, by Nancy F. Koehn
Great summary of the Shackleton story by Harvard Business School Professor Nancy Koehn.
- Bystanders to Genocide, by Samantha Power
Fascinating analysis of how and why the U.S. government failed to stop the genocide in Rwanda.
- The Question That Should Guide All Government Leaders, by Robert D. Behn
The importance of focusing on near misses as a strategy for preventing disasters.
- The Hint Behind "That's Funny", by Robert D. Behn
When something unexpected makes you say, "That's funny," it might be an indicator that a crisis is brewing.
- Planning to Manage Your Next Crisis Decisively and Effectively, by Barry Cross
Article from the Ivey Business Journal
- Leadership and Influence
Excellent self-study guide from FEMA
- The Self-Designing High-Reliability Organization: Aircraft Carrier Flight Operations at Sea
Air craft carrier operations are so intense it's like constant crisis. This article explains how the US Navy makes it work.
- Reworking Intuition
Simulations that push your team to the failure point can generate significant learning and insights.
- Handling Traumatic Events: A Manager's Handbook
Superb resource from OPM.
- Helping Others Cope with Grief
Booklet by LifeCare, Inc., includes a section on helping co-workers who are grieving.
When to Listen to a Dire Warning, from HBR IdeaCast
Former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-Terrorism Richard Clarke talks about the importance of listening when a member of your team warns you about a disaster that may be coming. Based on Clarke's book Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes.
Shackleton's WayErnest Shackletons' Antarctic adventure is one of the greatest known stories of crisis leadership. Shackleton's Way by draws on many sources, including the writings of Shackleton and his men, weaving a compelling portrait of Shackleton while describing the many difficult situations that he and his men had to overcome in their fight for survival. There are many other great tellings of the tale, such as Alfred Lansing's book Endurance and the HBO min-series Shackleton (starring Kenneth Branagh). But if you are looking for a version that focuses on Shackleton's leadership, you will love this book. Read More...
The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us AllMichael Useem has identified nine powerful stories that illustrate different aspects of leadership, including the stories of Eugene Krantz (Apollo 13), Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (the Battle of Gettysburg), and Alfredo Cristiani (peace in El Salvador). Useem's storytelling is superb, and the lessons from each story are quite actionable. This is a great read. Read More...
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in RwandaSent to Rwanda in November 1993 as UN Force Commander to enforce the Arusha Peace Accords between the Hutus and the Tutsis, Lt. General Roméo Dallaire of Canada ended up bearing witness to a genocide. In Shake Hands with the Devil, Dallaire describes how the UN's leadership prohibited him from taking action that he believes could have pre-empted the genocide and then pulled out most of his troops once the genocide was underway. This is an intense, complex, and beautifully written story of how international (and bureaucratic) indifference failed the Rwandan people. Ironically, even though Dallaire may have done more than anyone to try and stop the killing, he blamed himself for years for not having done more. Read More...