About the Book
What is the First and Most Important Work of a Leader? (The answer may surprise you)
In Leadership in the Crucible of Work, noted speaker, poet, and college president Dr. Sandy Shugart takes readers on an unforgettable journey to the heart of what it means to become an authentic leader. A leader who understands that work forms each of us more powerfully than we form it. A leader willing to be purified and shaped, like bronze, in the crucible of work. A leader who stands ready to do the first and most important work of a leader the interior work.
In these pages Dr. Shugart has crafted a different kind of leadership guide. Not a how-to book packed with the latest management theories, formulas, or processes, but a thoughtful collection of essays with questions, reflections, and stories on developing the indispensable inner life of a leader.
In this Book You Will:
- Discover inner attitudes that lead to the outer actions of a great leader.
- Understand the importance of asking good questions because every good question directs a leader to a better one.
- Learn how an exceptional leader says, we are in this together, then demonstrates it to be true.
- Find out why the greatest threat to a leader is their own ego, hubris, and blind spots and what to do about it.
- Come to realize that the difficult experiences of work (i.e. the crucible) exist to consume the dross of self so the leader is humbly drawn into servant leadership.
- Uncover how to become the unique leader you were meant to be.
- Find encouragement and guidance to shape your inward journey as you become an outwardly successful, authentic leader
Dr. Sandy Shugart was quickly advancing in his career. At the age of 25 he found himself as a senior leader in a large billion-dollar organization. As he became immersed in the competitive, power-laden politics of modern bureaucracy, something important happened; he wounded a colleague. As a result, he realized he was becoming someone he didn't want to be. And it was happening at work.
In a rare flash of insight, he writes, I realized that the jerks-the old burned-out, negative, manipulating, officious, self-centered bureaucrats about whom we all made jokes-had started out just like me. They hadn't always been jerks.
What is it that causes a leader to go bad? Or to become good? Is it the organizational environment? Is it the stress of the job?
For leaders living in an imperfect, broken world, work turns out to be a kind of crucible. A place where they experience the heat, pressure, and corrosion of elevated responsibility. For most of us, the crucible of work is unavoidable. So the question becomes, how do we endure the crucible without being hopelessly deformed by it? Or, how can we use the crucible to form us into a more valuable and authentic leader?
In Leadership in the Crucible of Work: Discovering the Interior Life of an Authentic Leader, Dr. Shugart shares insights from his 30 years of experience as a leader, including his service as the president of Valencia College - inaugural winner of the Aspen Prize for Excellence. Avoiding the latest leadership gimmicks and fads, Leadership in the Crucible of Work will guide you on an inward journey to discover how to do the interior work that leads to becoming an authentic leader.
My Take on the Book
This was a great book that really looked at leadership in a new and innovative way. The book's essays were provocative and really makes you think about what makes a person a good or bad leader and also makes you consider what steps you need to take to be able to be the strongest leader that you can be. The author is down-to-earth and easy to understand and truly brings together thoughts and perspectives that I have not seen in other leadership books. This book will make you think deeply and differently and will end up taking you to a different place in the end.
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