Forged In Crisis Quotes

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As we forge deeper into this issue of forgiveness, we must be prepared to open up and discuss things that bother us before they escalate to a crisis level. We must examine our struggles with forgiveness in which there are not overt offenses or blatant betrayals. I'm convinced that seeds of resentment take root in the silent frustrations that never get discussed. Other people cannot read our minds--or our palms!--and that is why we have tongues to speak.
T.D. Jakes
And every historic effort to forge a democratic project has been undermined by two fundamental realities: poverty and paranoia. The persistence of poverty generates levels of despair that deepen social conflict the escalation of paranoia produces levels of distrust that reinforce cultural division. Rae is the most explosive issue in American life precisely because it forces us to confront the tragic facts of poverty and paranoia despair, and distrust. In short, a candid examination of race matters takes us to the core of the crisis of American democracy (p. 107).
Cornel West (Race Matters)
Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective. Everybody in your organization benefits when you delegate responsibilities that fall outside your core competency. Thoughtful delegation will allow someone else in your organization to shine. Your weakness is someone’s opportunity. Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people. The people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault. As a leader, gifted by God to do a few things well, it is not right for you to attempt to do everything. Upgrade your performance by playing to your strengths and delegating your weaknesses. There are many things I can do, but I have to narrow it down to the one thing I must do. The secret of concentration is elimination. Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing. My competence in these areas defines my success as a pastor. A sixty-hour workweek will not compensate for a poorly delivered sermon. People don’t show up on Sunday morning because I am a good pastor (leader, shepherd, counselor). In my world, it is my communication skills that make the difference. So that is where I focus my time. To develop a competent team, help the leaders in your organization discover their leadership competencies and delegate accordingly. Once you step outside your zone, don’t attempt to lead. Follow. The less you do, the more you will accomplish. Only those leaders who act boldly in times of crisis and change are willingly followed. Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there’s no progress, there’s no growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life. Environments void of change are eventually void of life. So leaders find themselves in the precarious and often career-jeopardizing position of being the one to draw attention to the need for change. Consequently, courage is a nonnegotiable quality for the next generation leader. The leader is the one who has the courage to act on what he sees. A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside. The first person to step out in a new direction is viewed as the leader. And being the first to step out requires courage. In this way, courage establishes leadership. Leadership requires the courage to walk in the dark. The darkness is the uncertainty that always accompanies change. The mystery of whether or not a new enterprise will pan out. The reservation everyone initially feels when a new idea is introduced. The risk of being wrong. Many who lack the courage to forge ahead alone yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. It could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for leadership. After all, if the pathway to the future were well lit, it would be crowded. Fear has kept many would-be leaders on the sidelines, while good opportunities paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage. Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change, but they are the first to act. Leadership is about moving boldly into the future in spite of uncertainty and risk. You can’t lead without taking risk. You won’t take risk without courage. Courage is essential to leadership.
Andy Stanley (Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future)
A moment of crisis can be a moment of growth, as the wounded self prepares to transform. From the chrysalis of my pain, I will forge my healing—the wings of my newborn self.
Marianne Williamson (A Year of Miracles: Daily Devotions and Reflections)
To cope, he and his siblings – older and younger sisters, a younger brother - created a game called Henry Kissinger. Palahniuk remembers that as their parents fought, lots would be drawn to see who would play Kissinger. 'This was the early to mid-70s, when Kissinger was a hero, forging peace in the Middle East,' he explains. 'Whoever became Henry Kissinger would have to go and redirect our parents’ attention or anger to a different crisis.' The child who drew the short straw would severely hurt himself, presenting himself as 'this injured thing' in an effort to diffuse conflict.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (Mouth)
With improved coping skills forged through my midlife crisis, I now listen first and do not control, and I allow these now adult children to come to their own conclusions about what they want for their lives.
David Walton Earle
For Albuquerque, everything was at stake. All the principal figures of the Indian administration were besieged in the Mandovi in the rain, with the shots of the enemy crashing in; the men and their captains cursed him for the lack of food, for his obstinacy, his obsessiveness, his vanity. All he had was his belief in a certain strategic vision, encouraging words, and the severities of discipline. It was perhaps his supreme moment of crisis.
Roger Crowley (Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire)
Climate change is inviting us to forge a different kind of relationship, one that holds the planet and all of its places, ecosystems, and species sacred - not only in our conception and philosophy, but in our material relationship. Nothing less will deliver us from the environmental crisis that we face. Specifically, we need to turn our primary attention toward healing soil, water, and biodiversity, region by region and place by place... We must enact a civilization-wide unifying purpose: to restore beauty, health, and life to all that has suffered during the Ascent of Humanity.
Charles Eisenstein (Climate: A New Story)
But among those 150 people, Dunbar stressed that there are hierarchical "layers of friendship" determined by how much time you spend with the person. It's kind of like a wedding cake where the topmost layer consist of only one or two people—say, a spouse and best friend—with whom you are most intimate and interact daily. The next layer can accommodate at most four people for whom you have great affinity, affection, and concern. Friendships at this level require weekly attention to maintain. Out from there, the tiers contain more casual friends who you see less often and thus, your ties are more tenuous. Without consistent contact, they easily fall into the realm of acquaintance. At this point, you are friendly but not really friends, because you've lost touch with who they are, which is always evolving. You could easily have a beer with them, but you wouldn't miss them terribly, or even notice right way, if they moved out of town. Nor would they miss you. An exception might be friends with whom you feel like you can pick up right where you left or even though you haven't talked to them for ages. According to Dunbar, these are usually friendships forged through extensive and deep listening at some point in your life, usually during an emotionally wrought time, like during college or early adulthood, or maybe during a personal crisis like an illness or divorce. It's almost as if you have banked a lot of listening that you can draw on later to help you understand and relate to that person even after significant time apart. Put another way, having listened well and often to someone in the past makes it easier to get back on the same wavelength when you get out of sync, perhaps due to physical separation or following a time of emotional distance caused by an argument.
Kate Murphy (You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters)
If subaltern voices are to be made visible in a fashion that parts ways with the cultural Left’s humanist playbook of empathetic imaginings, a new revolutionary grammar is needed. Indeed such a grammar requires constructing new bonds of solidarity, based not on common enemies or goals but, as just underlined, loss and peril. It is shared trauma (exploitation, dispossession, alienation, oppression) that enables political groups to forge alliances, but as chapter 4 emphasized, universal emancipation also means giving up a degree of privilege/enjoyment, especially on the part of the included. It is the curbing of enjoyment, after all, that underlies a politics of egalitarian justice, since the point is not to aspire to the lifestyle of the privileged, but to reconfigure the system to minimize “privilege” (i.e., social inequalities). This is particularly the case in our current environmental crisis, which increasingly demands making do without new wealth creation (e.g., public transit instead of personal automobiles, computers using recycled rather than new materials, etc.). As Eisenstein and McGowan state, everyone “claims to want solidarity, but few want to pay the price for it. It does not require hatred of an enemy or the willingness to kill for the collective but the self-inflicted violence of the rupture. The solidarity that forms in the rupture is a solidarity without ground because the bond that exists is nothing but the shared absence of ground” (2012, 94). Without self-violence, without the will to unplug from the system and its rewards, critique will only ever be the semblance of critique, reform without transformation.
Zahi Zalloua (Universal Politics)
Historically, the shock of war, the humiliation of defeat, and the open wound of lost territories have served as potent instruments for building national solidarity and forging a strong national identity. The partitions of Poland in the second half of the eighteenth century wiped the Polish state off the map of Europe but served as a starting point for the formation of modern Polish nationalism, while the Napoleonic invasion of Germany at the beginning of the nineteenth century gave rise to pan-German ideas and promoted the development of modern German nationalism. Memories of defeat and lost territory have fired the national imaginations of French and Poles, Serbs and Czechs. Invaded, humiliated, and war-torn Ukraine seems to be following that general pattern. The Russian annexation of the Crimea, the hybrid war in the Donbas, and attempts to destabilize the rest of the country created a new and dangerous situation not only in Ukraine but also in Europe as a whole. For the first time since the end of World War II, a major European power made war on a weaker neighbor and annexed part of the territory of a sovereign state. The Russian invasion breached not only the Russo-Ukrainian treaty of 1997 but also the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, which had offered Ukraine security assurances in exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons and acceding to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty as a nonnuclear state. The unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine threatened the foundations of international order—a threat to which the European Union and most of the world were not prepared to respond but one that demands appropriate counteraction. Whatever the outcome of the current Ukraine Crisis, on its resolution depends not only the future of Ukraine but also that of relations between Europe’s east and west—Russia and the European Union—and thus the future of Europe as a whole.
Serhii Plokhy (The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine)
He realized that slavery and the racial discrimination that underlay it contaminated whites as well as blacks and damaged the fabric of the nation. At an even deeper level, he recognized that Americans (or any other people) couldn’t become all they might in the presence of widespread prejudice against their fellow citizens.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
It offers an important lesson for today’s leaders. No matter the mission—whether it be fighting injustice, starting a company, or teaching a classroom of fifth graders—leaders have to put a stake in the ground acknowledging what they’re doing and why. Each person must consciously decide for himself to embrace the larger purpose; he must also decide whether he is ready to walk onto the broader stage and lead.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
What, if anything, did men and women who believed in the goodness of Christ’s teachings owe to those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis, and how did these obligations translate into individual commitment and action?
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Every leader will come face-to-face with his or her darkest doubts. In these moments, the way forward is to move directly into one’s fear—to do the thing, address the person, or seek out the information that seems so terrifying. When such a moment has passed—as it did for Frederick when the fight with Covey ended—a leader realizes not only that he or she is still standing, but also that beneath (or beyond) the fear is a more resilient, more courageous self that is waiting to be claimed.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Condorcet suggested that ‘force cannot, like opinion, endure for long unless the tyrant extends his empire far enough afield to hide from the people, whom he divides and rules, the secret that real power lies not with the oppressors but with the oppressed’. The ‘mind forg’d manacles’, as William Blake called them, are as real as the hand-forged ones.
Yanis Varoufakis (The Global Minotaur: America, the True Origins of the Financial Crisis and the Future of the World Economy)
But it turns out that fascination with surface glitter has obscured our view to what is transpiring in the depths. There, human beings interact with platforms and information, and are changed by the interaction, and the accumulated changes have shaken and battered established institutions from companies and universities to governments and religions. The view from the depths is of a colossal many-sided conflict, the outcome of which, for good or evil, remains uncertain. In fact, the outcome will largely depend on us. And because we still think in categories forged during the industrial age—liberal and conservative, for example, or professional and amateur—our minds are blind to many of the clashes and casualties of this underground struggle.
Martin Gurri (The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium)
Hannah Arendt, drawing on an intuition of Max Weber and Bernard Lazare, tackled the ‘ambiguous semantics’ of Jewish political history head-on in order to forge a new concept: pariah Judaism. Invisibility, exclusion from the public space and ‘worldlessness’ were for her its key features, despite the cultural richness it had demonstrated.25 She set out on this basis to decipher totalitarianism by analysing its emergence as the product of the crisis of the system of nation-states. In a certain sense, Jewish modernity coincided with the trajectory of pariah Judaism. The obsession of Zionism, the child of nineteenth-century nationalisms, was to put an end to this ‘ambiguous semantics’, so that Jews would accede to a ‘normal’ existence: nation, state, sovereignty.
Enzo Traverso (The End of Jewish Modernity)
Good laws will make good men, and the best laws are forged not in the heat of crisis or the give-and-take of ordinary political debate, where men’s appetites take over, but through the exercise of knowledge and reason. Self-interest must learn to yield to the common interest; and men must be united if they are to be free. Taken together, that remains Plato’s most important political legacy.
Arthur Herman (The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization)
Although Brexit was primarily, for him, about sovereignty, he agreed with the common view that there was a strong anti-establishment feeling that grew from 2008 to 2010. ‘I feel really strongly that the roots were forged in the period around the financial crisis and the aftermath. You had the country bailing out the banks at great expense to taxpayers and the injustice that people felt at that but going along with it to stabilize the economy. Then, of course, in the aftermath, you have the years of austerity when the country is paying the price and at the same time you had the MPs’ expenses scandal. So it was the idea of not only the bankers, but also the politicians.
Sebastian Payne (Broken Heartlands: A Journey Through Labour's Lost England)
solve the nation’s debt crisis. The task was daunting. The country had been living on expedients since 1775; the Continental Congress had more creditors than any other regime in the world and no means of payment.When Hamilton totaled how much the country owed, it was staggering: foreign debt alone amounted to $11 million, plus $1.6 million in interest.
George C. Daughan (If By Sea: The Forging of the American Navy--from the Revolution to the War of 1812)
It was her concern and commitment to a friend which last year involved her in perhaps the most emotional period of her life. For five months she secretly helped to care for Adrian Ward-Jackson who had discovered that he was suffering from AIDS. It was a time of laughter, joy and much sorrow as Adrian, a prominent figure in the world of art, ballet and opera, gradually succumbed to his illness. A man of great charisma and energy, Adrian initially found it difficult to come to terms with his fate when in the mid-1980s he was diagnosed as HIV positive. His word as deputy chairman of the Aids Crisis Trust, where he first met the Princess, had made him fully aware of the reality of the disease. Finally he broke the news in 1987 to his great friend Angela Serota, a dancer with the Royal Ballet until a leg injury cut short her career and now prominent in promoting dance and ballet. For much of the time, Angela, a woman of serenity and calm practicality, nursed Adrian, always with the support of her two teenage daughters. He was well enough to receive a CBE at Buckingham Palace in March 1991 for his work in the arts--he was a governor of the Royal Ballet, chairman of the Contemporary Arts Society and a director of the Theatre Museum Association--and it was at a celebratory lunch held at the Tate Gallery that Angela first met the Princess. In April 1991 Adrian’s condition deteriorated and he was confined to his Mayfair apartment where Angela was in almost constant attendance. It was from that time that Diana made regular visits, once even brining her children Princes Willian and Harry. From that time Angela and the Princess began to forge a supportive bond as they cared for their friend. Angela recalls: “I thought she was utterly beautiful in a very profound way. She has an inner spirit which shines forth though there was also a sense of pervasive unhappiness about her. I remember loving the way she never wanted me to be formal.” When Diana brought the boys to see her friends, a reflection of her firmly held belief that her role as mother is to bring them up in a way that equips them for every aspect of life and death, Angela saw in William a boy much older and more sensitive than his years. She recalls: “He had a mature view of illness, a perspective which showed awareness of love and commitment.” At first Angela kept in the background, leaving Diana alone in Adrian’s room where they chatted about mutual friends and other aspects of life. Often she brought Angela, whom she calls “Dame A”, a gift of flowers or similar token. She recalls: “Adrian loved to hear about her day-to-day work and he loved too the social side of life. She made him laugh but there was always the perfect degree of understanding, care and solicitude. This is the point about her, she is not just a decorative figurehead who floats around on a cloud of perfume.” The mood in Mount Street was invariably joyous, that sense of happiness that understands about pain. As Angela says: “I don’t see death as sad or depressing. It was a great journey he was going on. The Princess was very much in tune with that spirit. She also loved coming for herself, it was an intense experience. At the same time Adrian was revitalized by the healing quality of her presence.” Angela read from a number of works by St. Francis of Assisi, Kahil Gibran and the Bible as well as giving Adrian frequent aromatherapy treatments. A high spot was a telephone call from Mother Teresa of Calcutta who also sent a medallion via Indian friends. At his funeral they passed Diana a letter from Mother Teresa saying how much she was looking forward to meeting her when she visited India. Unfortunately Mother Teresa was ill at that time so the Princess made a special journey to Rome where she was recuperating. Nonetheless that affectionate note meant a great deal to the Princess.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
Despite its limited application, the Emancipation Proclamation represented a critical inflection point. It altered the purpose and dimension of the Civil War. It marked an irrevocable break with the nation’s past. The institution that had done so much to structure social and economic relations in both the North and the South, affect national politics, and provoke the ongoing conflict had been, in the stroke of a pen, put on a path to potential extinction. By signing the document, Lincoln had effectively eliminated the possibility of a negotiated peace with the Confederacy. After January 1, 1863, as he clearly understood, if the North won the war, this victory would also include the death of slavery. This would, in turn, give rise to widespread social and economic transformation in the South and among millions of freed blacks, who would take their places among white Americans in the nation they shared.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
More important, the new law gave the president a mightier purpose than that he had assumed when he took office. In early 1863, Lincoln realized that his work had become bigger than saving the Union, as essential as this was. His responsibility now encompassed transforming the country—even as he tried to preserve it—by aligning it more closely with the United States’ original reason for being: freedom for all.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Like many another writer,” Thompson wrote, “Hemingway did his best work when he felt he was standing on something solid—like an Idaho mountainside, or a sense of conviction.” But what happens when the premise on which these convictions are based changes too rapidly and unpredictably? How do writers whose perspectives have been forged by their experiences within a certain time and place adjust to a new reality—to “the mean nature of a world that will not stand still long enough for them to see it clear as a whole?” In other words: how do you stay relevant when the moment in history you’re tasked with rendering is defined by a lack of clarity? “It is not just a writer’s crisis,” Thompson concluded, “but they are the most obvious victims because the function of art is supposedly to bring order out of chaos, a tall order even when the chaos is static, and a superhuman task in a time when chaos is multiplying.
Timothy Denevi (Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson's Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism)
He studied by himself, starting with the eighteenth-century treatise on common law, Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. “The more I read,” Lincoln wrote later, “the more intensely interested I became. Never in my whole life was my mind so thoroughly absorbed. I read until I devoured [the Commentaries].” When he finished Blackstone, Lincoln dug into other books. He became fixated on his studies. Lincoln the law student, a neighbor remembered, “would go day after day for weeks and sit under an oak tree on [a] hill . . . and read.” When the sun moved, the neighbor continued, Lincoln “moved round [the] tree to keep in [the] shade . . . [he] was so absorbed that people said he was crazy. Sometimes [he] did not notice people when he met them.” Years later, Lincoln advised a young man who was considering a legal career: If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already. It is but a small matter whether you read with any body or not. I did not read with any one. Get the books, and read and study them till, you understand them in their principal features; and that is the main thing. It is of no consequence to be in a large town while you are reading. I read at New-Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it. The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places. . . . Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Some of his diffidence may have resulted from his lack of social polish or his sense that he was homely, which he occasionally joked about. (For example, during the 1858 contest for the US Senate seat from Illinois, Lincoln’s opponent, Stephen Douglas, accused him of being two-faced. Lincoln reportedly shot back, “If I had another face, do you think I’d wear this one?”)
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
At its most basic level, it means that we must focus on the most radically simple means to execute a plan. Too many moving parts can lead to confusion and gridlock in a crisis.
Mark Divine (Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level)
Washington wanted to give the men some kind of inspirational speech before they boarded the boats, but knew that he was no orator. So, instead, he handed out copies of the latest patriotic essay by Tom Paine, The American Crisis.
Bruce Chadwick (George Washington's War: The Forging of a Revolutionary Leader and the American Presidency)
But Lincoln was never motivated primarily by money. Measured against his father’s livelihood, the son made a good living. Lincoln was also consistently careful about his reputation. He may have wanted to avoid any hint of impropriety associated with charging high prices—either to poor clients who couldn’t afford them or to wealthier ones to whom he might feel beholden. Lincoln might also have wanted people to remember him as a lawyer who underpromised and overdelivered. This strategy was good for building a legal practice. It was also useful for one interested in electoral politics. In the 1860 presidential election, for example, Lincoln’s small fees would be held up as evidence of his good character.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Leaders trying to accomplish a worthy mission have to cultivate the ability to identify the one, two, or three essential issues facing them at a given moment. It is never five or ten. It is always one or two—maybe three—issues that really matter. Having indentified these, leaders must let the remaining concerns go, either by giving themselves permission to turn their attention away from all that is not central to their purpose or by handing peripheral issues to others, including an adversary. Being able to do this—to concentrate on the most important issues while relinquishing the rest—depends on a leader’s willingness to recognize two things: first, he or she cannot do it all, and second, by saying no to that which is not mission critical, one is actually saying yes to that which is.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
[Lincoln] wore a somewhat battered “stove-pipe hat.” … [His] ungainly body was clad in a rusty black frock-coat with sleeves that should have been longer. … His black trousers, too, permitted a very full view of his large feet. On his left arm he carried a gray woolen shawl, which evidently served him for an overcoat in chilly weather. His left hand held a cotton umbrella of the bulging kind, and also a black satchel that bore the marks of long and hard usage. His right hand he had kept free for hand-shaking, of which there was no end until everybody in the [railroad] car seemed to be satisfied. I had seen, in Washington and in the West, several public men of rough appearance, but none whose looks seemed quite so uncouth, not to say grotesque, as Lincoln’s
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Focus and discipline are essential tools for leaders in our own time. Attention spans are shrinking; many of us have trouble concentrating, listening well, and reflecting. Some of this difficulty is a result of nonstop connection to information and other people, and some is a function of trying to do several things at once.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Like Bonhoeffer, leaders today must nurture a strong sense of self-discipline to direct their attention and energy toward what really matters.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
There was a lot of systematic theology in this lecture, as well as dogmatics and symbolics; but they served as occasions for dealing with the main question. And this was: what has God done? Where is he? How does he need us, and what does he expect from us?
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Lincoln had read the Bible all his life, but he had never attended church regularly or talked publicly about sustaining any kind of spiritual faith.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
This is an essential lesson for anyone who yearns to lead. The temptation, especially in times of discouragement and failure, is to leap into the first opportunity that comes our way, to do something—anything—that may advance our mission. But this is not, as Douglass realized, right action for leaders. Right action requires taking a long pause and considering how one can do the most good. This always entails putting one’s gifts and experience to their best use.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Putting such stakes in the ground requires that leaders see not only the big picture, but also their impact on it. People who aspire to lead have to recognize what is at risk at a given juncture, what right action the moment demands, and what the consequences are of choosing one course over another.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
The first was the significance of assessing one’s work in terms of its tangible consequences. He’d arrived in the United States an accomplished intellectual; he returned home concerned with what his theology and faith meant in the real world. As Germany’s situation grew darker in the mid-1930s, this interest deepened. Bonhoeffer came to see his work—as minister, activist, and eventually political resister—in relation to its tangible impact. What lessons did Christianity offer to a nation controlled by the Third Reich? How was a follower of Christ to advance righteousness in the face of Nazi atrocities? The genesis of these questions dated directly to his year in New York.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
The second lesson that Bonhoeffer took away from his time in America was the power of empathy. Through his experience in the black community, he discovered a world and a set of perspectives very different from his own. The more he learned about African-Americans, the more he understood what it meant to live on the margins of society. Bonhoeffer nourished this empathy, using it to try to understand the suffering of others—including victims of Nazi brutality. In late 1942, Bonhoeffer would define this empathy as “the view from below,” the ability to see “the great events of world history … from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled—in short, from the perspective of those who suffer.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Douglass recognized that to make a big impact, he had to create his own moral, intellectual, and emotional infrastructure. This was thorny, complicated work. We can imagine it as a series of conversations he had with himself as he considered how he might affect broader events. These internal discussions formed the cornerstone of Douglass’s leadership, helping him make day-to-day choices, communicate his mission, and navigate through moments of doubt and despair. All individuals who aspire to lead effectively must build their own foundation.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
He intuitively understood, as we must today, that leaders need to construct a reinforced base to support all that they are going to do. What are the most important pillars of your thinking about a vital issue? Why are you invested in this particular problem? What do you hope to achieve as you delve into it, and what is your best guess about how you will do this? The answers to these questions are vital not only to your actions going forward, but also to how you sustain your commitment when you run into obstacles and setbacks.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Like Lincoln, who taught himself geometry, grammar, and military strategy, Douglass treated the improvement of his mind as an ongoing project. He did not know exactly how he would use what he was learning, but he was committed to making himself into all he could.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
His was not a story of superhuman heroism. Lincoln’s journey was one of learning by doing, ongoing commitment to bettering himself, keen intelligence harnessed to equally acute emotional awareness, and the moral seriousness into which he grew as he attained immense power. It was also an all-too-human path marked by setbacks, derailments, and disappointments.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
My friends—No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe every thing. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, who can go with me, and remain with you and be every where for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
In the midst of a crisis, every leader has to shoulder the two sets of burdens that Lincoln did. He or she has to manage the turbulence itself—fight the war, turn the company around, or save the teenager who has turned to drugs. At the same time, he or she has to define what the crisis means and why it is worth navigating, solving, or reversing—first for him- or herself, and then for all the other people involved.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
Both secretaries thought Lincoln should curtail the time he spent seeing individual citizens, but he continued to hold office hours throughout his presidency. Labeling the visits “public opinion baths,” Lincoln viewed them as an important means to gauge popular sentiment about the war and his policies.
Nancy F. Koehn (Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times)
The author characterizes Hamilton's tone in the Federalist papers by saying that he never spoke of problems but of being at the last stage in the crisis.
John Ferling (Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation)
Tomorrows leaders are going to be
Dwayne Mulenga Isaac Jr
He replied with something like, “I will keep going until we either win our freedoms back, or I am in a Gulag.” I understood. This is truly a time in history for the hammering out of heroes and heroines in the forge of crisis. And so it is also a time of cowardice, when those who choose collusion, when they know better, are allowing their souls to shrivel in that same heat.
Naomi Wolf (The Bodies of Others: The New Authoritarians, COVID-19 and The War Against the Human)