by Frank Damazio

Crucibles That Make Extraordinary Leaders
Frank Damazio
1 Kings 17:2-7


What makes a great leader? Is it the person's natural birth into leadership? Do great leaders have the ''great leader gene'' so that they are favored in a pool of leaders? Research says that the best leaders are made best in the way they handle adversity. They find meaning in negative events and learn from the most trying circumstances. The skills required to conquer adversity and emerge stronger and more committed than ever are the same ones that make for an extraordinary leader. Crucibles teach powerful leadership lessons. Repeatedly, the lessons people extract from the times of white-hot trials become the touchstones they carry for the rest of their lives. Crucible experiences are in many respects the raw material from which outstanding leaders derive their core qualities. The making of a leader does not take place in the classroom. It takes place in the crucibles of life.

Definitions of the Crucible

Dictionary definition:

A ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be molted or subjected to very high-heat temperatures

Synonyms: Affliction, agony, anguish, calamity, cross, difficulty, distress, test, trial, tribulation

Symbolic Definition:

A transformed experience through which an individual comes to a new or an altered sense of identity

Leadership definition:

A place or occasion of severe test or trial; white heat of a crucible experience in which a leader's values are tested - often by adversity - and his/her competencies are honed for a future leadership role.

Crucible Experience Cycle

Every crucible comes with a cycle, forever revolving. That cycle has four stages.

Context: the time and place in which leaders are to be developed

''A great man represents a strategic point in the campaign of history, and part of his greatness consists of being there.'' -Oliver Wendell Holmes

Character: the values that ind ...

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