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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

THE QUESTION

The secret of spontaneous leadership?

Once again this past weekend, a terrorist attack on an airplane was foiled by a quick- thinking passenger. What qualities distinguish those "ordinary" people who, in a crisis, take such a leadership role? Can that instinct be taught or is it simply part of a person's makeup?

Posted by Steve Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti on December 28, 2009 10:54 AM
FROM THE PANEL
Bill Shore

Doing smarter with less

Fewer resources make all of the basics even more important: focusing on strategy, nurturing talent, insisting on accountability.

Posted by Bill Shore, on January 8, 2010 4:45 PM
Bill George

The engaged leader

It is direct engagement - not memos, emails and videos - that spawns empowerment and innovation.

Posted by Bill George, on January 7, 2010 10:47 AM

Lean thinking

If all you want to do is cut costs, then you don't need a leader; you need an accountant.

Posted by Robert Bruner, on January 4, 2010 1:13 PM

The gumption to act

Part of leadership, in a crisis situation or any other, is having the gumption to believe your approach is valuable and worth advancing.

Posted by Ed O'Malley, on December 31, 2009 7:19 AM
Col. Charles D. Allen

What soldiers do

We justly admire civilians like Jasper Schuringa, but in Iraq and Afghanistan, valor is demonstrated daily, in the most austere and dangerous conditions, by those in uniform.

Posted by Col. Charles D. Allen, on December 31, 2009 7:03 AM

Teaching courage

Jasper Schuringa didn't have special skills, but he did have courage. If the Cowardly Lion can do it, so can you.

Posted by Marty Linsky, on December 31, 2009 6:54 AM
Michael Maccoby

Waking up to lead

Unlike so many who go through life half asleep, natural leaders are wide awake. They see a threat and act.

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on December 31, 2009 6:38 AM

Inspiring boldness

These moments of courage by regular citizens remind me of the power of action and our ability to create change rather than simply follow others and do nothing.

Posted by Coro Fellows, on December 30, 2009 7:45 AM

Quick AND effective

The instinct to react immediately may be inborn, but the ability to react effectively is learned.

Posted by Slade Gorton, on December 30, 2009 7:41 AM

The leader in 20J

Jasper Schuringa possessed no playbook, no rules to follow or training, and certainly had no prior experience fighting terrorism.

Posted by Alaina Love, on December 29, 2009 7:06 AM

An instinctual sense

Leadership is sometimes just the manifestation of an instinctual sense of responsibility.

Posted by John H. Cochran, MD, on December 29, 2009 7:00 AM

Acts of optimism

Sometimes we find ourselves in a time and place not of our own choosing where our gift meets the world's need.

Posted by George Reed, on December 29, 2009 6:55 AM
Marshall Goldsmith

Deeply held values

We may not be able to teach instinct, but we can definitely teach values.

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith, on December 29, 2009 6:50 AM

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FEATURED COMMENTS

dcampbell1: We should be careful not to confuse leadership and heroism. The passenger was indeed heroic, willing to place himself in even more immediate...

SoupLine: Some men are leaders and others are followers. One day a situation will occur where you will either rise to the occasion or you will seek c...

JamesChristian: He did what needed to be done at the time. The "Let's roll" folks taught a valuable lesson. If it happens, the passengers have to take actio...

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