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Sudan Pudasaini (13126)

Crucibles of Leadership
This article by Warren G. Bennis and Robert J. Thomas and was published in Harvard Business
Review in September 2002. Initially, the author were trying to do research for the article and
book Geeks and Geezers actually designed to uncover the ways that era influences a leaders
motivation and aspirations. During the research the author find the whole process very
interesting and presented this article which summarizes what leaders do or behave or act that
differentiate them from others.
The author had presented the several examples explaining the three crucibles learning from
differences, prevailing the darkness and meeting great expectation. Example of Sidney Harman
shows how he used his university knowledge in his work setting and creates are evolutionary
management technique. Another example of Liz Altman, who avoids prejudgment about the
cultural differences and integrate herself with two different groups men and women. Her learning
from the difference helps her to progress in her career.
Another example of Sidney Rittenberg elaborates how a leader emerges from difficult situation.
It gave the insight of another crucible prevailing over darkness. Judge Nathaniel R. Jones is
another example showing how leader emerges from positive and deeply challenging experiences.
This article also explains the four essentials of leadership which are ability to engage other in
shared meaning, a distinctive and complex voice, a sense of integrity and adaptive capacity. The
authors tried to bring various examples from different culture, settings and era to illustrate what
leaders contained.
I personally support the three crucibles explained in the articles. With this globalization trend it
becomes very essential for manager to understand various cultural, ethical, behavioral and
geographical differences. Even in our students life we learn more when there is visiting professor
and students from abroad. Recent experience of visiting of German students in KUSOM also
teaches me a lot. Initially, when I used to talk with my sister in German, she used to share that
German are rude. But when those German students visit us, the scenario was different. They
were more helpful and willing to share the knowledge. Comparing this with the example of Liz
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Atman, now a Motorola vice president, I believe that sometimes managers need to follow what is
valuable for them. They had their own standards and characteristics to cope with adverse and
happening situation. Instead of following the available beliefs they choose different path and it
prove to be success.
Suresh Raj Sharma(ex VC of KU) and Deepak Bhattarai (EX- principle of NEC) were the
pioneer in education sector of Nepal. They believe there is the need of different private education
institute in Nepal. They overcame adverse environment and now they are regarded as one of the
leading person of education sector.
Prevailing over darkness is another crucible of leadership. We had plenty of examples in our
society. B.P koirala, Ganesh Man Singh and Madan Bhandari are among few of the legends who
are regarded as leaders being greatly missed in Nepal. They went through series of exile and
imprisonment which didnt break them. But they emerge as a visionary and great person
followed by many. Their unique principles they develop during their harsh time is still regarded
as the major guideline for the currently political party of Nepal. In article, example of Rittenberg
is shared who develop himself in a prison rather being demotivated.
I believe during such darkness only few leaders can emerge as an inspiratory. Many people may
quit the path or cannot utilize those moments to understand themselves. If only going to prison or
through darkness would give rise to the leader Nepal would had develop a lot getting benefits
from those leader.
Another crucible of Leadership is meeting expectation. Unlike previous two crucibles, it deals
with positive and deeply challenging experience. Article had well illustrated example of Jugde
Nathanial R. Jones. In Nepali context, Paras Khadka is another such leader. Under the guidance
of Coach Pubudu Dassanayake, he not only changed his game quality but also challenge the
various managerial issues related to Nepali cricket development. No matter what he will be
forever regarded as a role model to Nepali cricket fan.
But great expectation is not always met. Fernando Torres, a Spanish football player was regarded
as one of the best player of his era. He was nominated for best football award. But after certain
time his game decline. He is not able to perform to his expectation. Here, the pressure felt by
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Torres is seemed to be more than needed. Thus, although meeting great expectation is important
crucible of leadership, it might have adverse effect also.
Besides, crucible of leadership, there are major attributes of leadership. I believe they also are
equally important for a leader. But above all, I believe positive attitude plays an important role in
a leadership which this article fail to explain.
Example in Nepalese context
Born in Myagdi district and deprived from basic educational facilities, Mr. Mahabir Pun is now a
renowned name in Nepal. His work is recognized by the Ashoka Foundation, the Ramon
Magsaysay Foundation, University of Nebraska, and Global Ideas Bank.
Mr. Pun was didnt get pencil, paper and even text book during his school life in his village. His
teacher used to be ex-army officer who were not fully qualified. Later, his father after his
retirement guided Mr. Pun for education. His father migrated to urban where Mr. Pun can get
educational facilities. Later, to support his family, Mr. Pun taught for 12 years. After that he gets
scholarship in university of Nebraska. It was a life changing moment for Mr. Pun. During his
stay in US, he develops a vision to transform his learning to his village where it can be used for
economically deprived people. Thus, I believe difference in cultural setting faced by Mr. Pun is
the major reason for his development.
Now, Mr. Pun is regarded as a pioneer IT person in Nepal, a visionary and a truly aspiring