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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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PREFACE

This exploration of how leaders learn had its origins in two fortuitous events—one quite pleasant and the other rather chilling. The first event was breakfast with Warren Bennis at Shutters in Santa Monica on a bright morning in December 1999. While sharing our thoughts on the way experience shapes a leader’s persona, I described to Warren an insight I’d gotten while observing a master class led by acclaimed choreographer Twyla Tharp at City Center in Manhattan. During the question and answer period following the class, I’d asked Tharp what was to her mind the biggest difference between practice and performance. She looked at me quizzically, as if I’d asked a truly boneheaded question. But then, patiently, she explained that practice ...

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