In a recent sermon, Bob Malm apparently attempts to manage perceptions of his lack of leadership and management skills by telling parishioners that he is reading Nancy Koehn’s book, “Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.” That’s pretty funny, actually, as Koehn’s key messages illustrate just how dismal Bob’s performance as rector really is.
Consider Koehn’s comments during a recent Harvard business school inteview (emphasis added):
Gerdeman: You say in the book that we live in a moment when our collective faith in government, business, and religion is waning. Do you think people have a growing concern that we’re experiencing a void in great leadership?Koehn: There’s no question we have a leadership vacuum here. It’s not confined to the executive wing. It’s also in Congress and across the political spectrum.This void is partly a result of the lapses of integrity and judgment and decency that contributed to the financial crisis of 2008—and regrettably, many of these lapses were never made right, just as many of the people responsible for them were not held accountable. And this lowered standards for people in power in a range of organizations.At the same time, we voters have become seduced by what I call “leadership bling”: by who’s on the red carpet, who got rich quick, by who seems sexy and full of charisma and decisiveness. All this interest in celebrity and wealth has kept us from focusing on what really matters in the people we elect and follow and that is people of strong and decent character, people who want to serve others and advance the collective good.
Without Shackleton’s ability to foster cohesion among his team, those folks wouldn’t have survived. It started with how he selected people for his team. He hired for attitude and trained for skill.