12 Lessons on Leadership: Real Stories of Risk and Change

If you could gather together in the same room 12 legendary leaders -- including the mayor of New York City, the world's richest man, the superintendent of one of our nation's most esteemed military institutions and several accomplished CEOs -- what would you do? If you're like most of us, you'd want to pick their brains, right? Fortunately, the new book, No Fear of Failure: Real Stories of How Leaders Deal with Risk and Change (Jossey-Bass/available now) figuratively puts these very people in the same room for you. Authored by Gary Burnison, CEO of talent-management solutions firm Korn/Ferry, the book features one-on-one interviews with a dozen leaders to extract compelling nuggets of wisdom about failure, success and the many steps in between. As the book title implies, what may impress readers the most is not the tales of great accomplishments, but rather the perspectives on falling short of goals. "One of the amazing similarities these leaders share is a deep inner serenity that comes from accepting the inevitability of failure," Burnison says. "Success instilled confidence in each of them, but their failures imparted wisdom. Unfortunately, humans cannot see the future; tragedies occur and failure happens. However, it's not what you do at the moment of failure, it's what you do after that counts." Here are selected quotes from each interviewee, conveying 12 distinct takes on leadership:

This article was originally published on 05-10-2011
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