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Harv Bus Rev. Sep;80(9), Crucibles of leadership. Bennis WG(1 ), Thomas RJ. Author information: (1)Leadership Institute, University of. Robert J. Thomas April 01, Pioneering scholarship by Warren Bennis, Edgar Schein, Chris Argyris, Donald Schon and Bennis and I speculate about the process through which crucibles teach leadership lessons. Crucibles of Leadership. Bennis, Warren G.; Thomas, Robert J. Harvard Business Review, v80 n9 p Sep Often, a traumatic event that forces a.

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You must sign in to post a tgomas. These are not esoteric or hard-to-implement lessons. But some experiences matter more than others, as two unconventional but highly successful organizations — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club — have recognized. Crucibles of Leadership Development peter July 24, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormons, and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club have mastered the art of turning crucible experiences into leadership gold.

And these two otherwise radically different groups have important things to teach business.

leadersjip Runs typically stretch hundreds of miles along public thoroughfares. Missionary work is the principal mechanism of that growth. Yet the Mormon process goes deeper on every level.

Add a comment Cancel reply You must sign in to post a comment. What makes a great leader? In interviewing more than 40 leaders in business and the public sector over the past three years, the authors discovered that all of them–young and old alike–had endured intense, often traumatic, experiences that transformed them and became the source of their distinctive leadership abilities.

As a result of the mission, then, the organization has new members and a fresh supply of dedicated individuals who represent the pool from which the next generation of leaders can be recruited. Sonny Barger, a founding member of the Oakland, California, Hells Angels chapter, explains the significance of the run: Bennis and Thomas call these shaping experiences “crucibles,” after the vessels medieval alchemists used in their attempts to turn base metals into gold.


Crucibles of leadership.

crucubles In Leaderhip for a LifetimeWarren Bennis and I speculate about the process through which crucibles teach leadership lessons. Though legal in most jurisdictions, a planned run nevertheless attracts a great deal of attention from local law enforcement agencies yhomas civic officials eager to divert the event if possible.

And despite their manifest differences, they share a variety of other similarities. Moreover, runs invariably cross territorial boundaries between different clubs, many of which are hostile. Both organizations are large, durable, complex, multiunit, multinational entities that have grown rapidly in the past three decades.

Many missionaries keep journals during their time away and record their impressions, insights and lessons learned for future reflection. Support, in the form of senior companions, enables missionaries to navigate through uncertain situations and to weather the inevitable homesickness. Inthe Mormon Church had more than 52, men and women serving as missionaries in countries.

This is a summary of the full article.

To enjoy the full article sign increate an accountor buy this article. While that insight makes intuitive sense, a wealth of management writing confirms it.

Crucibles of leadership.

But they, and a few others, are the exceptions. For the interviewees, their crucibles were the points at which they were forced to question who they were and what was important to them. For those learning to lead, experience trumps formal training.

They will require, however, an openness to experimentation and risk taking in the area of leader development — perhaps the biggest hurdle of all.

For that project, I interviewed 70 leaders in business, the performing arts and sports and analyzed stories from dozens more in order to understand better the dynamics of experiential learning. Like all crucible experiences, frucibles stories are highly specific to the individuals in question.


However, I am saying that some crucibles can be deliberately set up, managed and exploited to help produce leaders. Each group uses a particular activity as a crucible experience for leader development. Since missions last two years for men and 18 months for women, nearly 30, new missionaries must come forward each year to maintain that level of outreach.

Special parties are organized to welcome leaxership home. And because many of its ventures are secretive and subject to external surveillance, it works to prevent organizational decapitation by maintaining a leadership pipeline. With 12 million members, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is well on its way to becoming a world religion. Who else is going to tell him that he [messed] up but his family? Veteran members recall past runs and judge current ones accordingly.

Crucibles of Leadership Development

Crucible experiences, when properly set up, managed and mined, can help aspiring companies develop their next generation of outstanding leaders. The most relevant test? Families are counseled to give returning members time and space to reenter an environment that will appear to have changed dramatically. Return from the mission is a time of renewal for the individuals and for the organization. Demonstrating the ability to organize and successfully manage a motorcycle run.