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Showing posts from September, 2012

The Courage Factor

IN PREPARATION FOR A NEW BOOK on history museum leadership that I am co-writing with my colleague Joan Baldwin, we are knee-deep in interviewing leaders across the country.  Our leaders not only head organizations, some of them lead departments (or are departments of one) and others are exerting leadership in other capacities at their museums.  Their ages range from the mid-twenties to the mid-sixties -- newly minted to veteran museum professionals.

Joan's discovered in some of her interviews that a key element of leadership is courage.  I was fascinated because it hadn't bubbled up in my interviews, at least not in so many words.  

So, I decided to ask about it in my next interview.

My interviewee agreed.  It first takes courage to decide to be the leader of an institution; to trust in one's abilities to lead others; to articulate a vision even when it might be tough to imagine a future.  It also takes courage to make decisions that have the potential for far-reaching impact…