Summary of Leading in Times of Crisis

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  • Applicable


Contemporary executives have more to manage than leaders did at any time in the past. They’re like plate spinners, juggling to keep all their firms’ interests – customers, employees, investors, regulators, suppliers and the environment – from crashing to the ground. David L. Dotlich, Peter C. Cairo and Stephen H. Rhinesmith bring years of leadership expertise – and the results of 20 interviews with senior executives about 21st-century management – to this examination of leading in a “complex, diverse and uncertain” world. Clearly, the old command-and-control, problem-solving, analytical ways of piloting a firm are out; what’s in and crucial is a new leadership model combining the strengths of leaders’ “head, heart and guts.” While occasionally repetitive and trite, this informative book includes useful end-of-chapter questions, plus helpful graphics about preparing yourself and your team to be “whole leaders.” getAbstract recommends this text as a practical addition to the libraries of seasoned executives, middle managers and those climbing the corporate ladder into the future of business. Just be aware that, as one expert in the book cautions, you “can spend decades climbing the ladder – only to realize too late” that you “have placed it against the wrong wall.”

About the Authors

David L. Dotlich, an adviser, author and speaker on leadership and business strategy, is the founder and former president of the Oliver Wyman Executive Learning Center, where Peter C. Cairo and Stephen H. Rhinesmith are senior partners.



“The Perfect Storm”

Unprecedented change and rapidly unfolding events strain the capabilities of modern business leaders in ways unimaginable even just a short while ago. Responding to technological advances, financial crises and commercial ambiguities forces executives to deal with enormous stress as they maneuver through swiftly changing, globalizing markets. While these market transformations bring vast opportunities, moving ahead in such fast-paced environments also carries great risk. Modern “technology, media, regulatory bodies, shareholder activism, politics, people and competition” converge to create a perfect storm of “complexity, diversity and uncertainty,” the three issues most corporate leaders see as their biggest obstacles:

  1. Complexity is rife in corporate environments – More data, opportunities, challenges, and markets, as well as faster communication and the influence of multiple geographies and jurisdictions, all lead to complex organizational structures, reporting lines and demands. Too much information, paradoxically, may mean not enough answers. Leaders often must make “right-versus-right choices.” Growing specialization...

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