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Turning Adversity Into Opportunity

James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner

ISBN: 978-1-118-91129-7 May 2014 Jossey-Bass 64 Pages


Leaders are no strangers to challenges; in recent years, businesses have experienced unprecedented layoffs, dismal sales, dwindling retirement accounts, and the bankruptcy of once-heralded institutions. While these uncertain times are difficult, they also provide the opportunity for great leadership. Over three decades of research, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, the bestselling authors of The Leadership Challenge, have asked thousands of leaders to describe their personal leadership best. Across the board, people say their greatest moments arise out of the most difficult periods of their careers.

Turning Adversity Into Opportunity reveals how leaders at any level can transform difficult circumstances into opportunities for growth and success. Kouzes and Posner offer a clear set of six actionable strategies, showing how extraordinary leaders navigate through uncertainty, hardship, disruption, transformation, transition, recovery, new beginnings, and other significant challenges. Exemplary leadership disrupts the status quo, and Kouzes and Posner show how to awaken and pursue new possibilities and opportunities, no matter what the circumstances.

Wherever you find yourself in your organization or community, Turning Adversity Into Opportunity will help you embrace the chance within any challenge to make a real difference.

Introduction: Strategies for Turning Adversity Into Opportunity 1

Strategy Number One: Broaden the Context 5

Strategy Number Two: Defy the Verdict 9

Strategy Number Three: Fully Commit to What’s Important 15

Strategy Number Four: Take Charge of Change 21

Strategy Number Five: Engage Others 29

Strategy Number Six: Show You Care 33

Conclusion: No Shortage of Opportunities to Make a Difference 41

Notes 45

About the Authors 49