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Crucibles of Leadership: How to Learn from Experience to Become a Great Leader by Robert J. Thomas

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INSIDE THE CRUCIBLE

Learning and Leading with Resilience

Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.

—General George S. Patton

IN HIS SHORT STORY “A Descent into the Maelstrom,” Edgar Allan Poe offers a marvelous literary evocation of life inside a crucible.1 The story’s narrator, one of three brothers who achieved success as fishermen by sailing through waters made treacherous by a periodic whirlpool or maelstrom, tells of a fateful day when he lost track of the time and tides and his ship was sucked into the circling waters. In the clamor and rush of water pulling the boat to the ocean floor, he confesses that he fell into the grip of an overpowering panic. In the moment of greatest confusion, however, with the sky narrowing ...

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