Leadership Dispatches: Chile's Extraordinary Comeback from Disaster

Leadership Dispatches: Chile's Extraordinary Comeback from Disaster

By Michael Useem, Howard Kunreuther, and Erwann Michel-Kerjan

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Through an account of Chile's remarkable recovery after a catastrophic earthquake in 2010, this book unearths a set of leadership principles that are relevant to anyone at the helm of public or private organizations facing risk. Leadership Dispatches is at once the story of nation that shifted into high gear after a major disaster, and an instructive guide for leaders coping with increasingly widespread and menacing crises.

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Book Information

Publisher: Stanford Business Books
Publish Date: 03/11/2015
Pages: 296
ISBN-13: 9780804793872
ISBN-10: 0804793875
Language: English

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On February 27, 2010, Chile was rocked by a violent earthquake five hundred times more powerful than the one that hit Haiti just six weeks prior. The Chilean earthquake devastated schools, hospitals, roads, and homes, paralyzing the country for weeks and causing economic damage that was equal to 18 percent of Chile's GDP. This calamity hit just as an incumbent political regime was packing its bags and a new administration was preparing to take office. For most countries, it would have taken years, if not decades, to recover from such an event. Yet, only one year later, Chile's economy had reached a six percent annual growth rate.

In Leadership Dispatches, Michael Useem, Howard Kunreuther, and Erwann Michel-Kerjan look at how the nation's leaders--in government, business, religion, academia, and beyond--facilitated Chile's recovery. They attribute Chile's remarkable comeback to a two-part formula consisting of strong national leadership on the one hand, and deeply rooted institutional practices on the other. Coupled with strategic, deliberative thinking, these levers enabled Chile to bounce back quickly and exceed its prior national performance. The authors make the case that the Chilean story contains lessons for a broad range of organizations and governments the world over.

Large-scale catastrophes of many kinds--from technological meltdowns to disease pandemics--have been on the rise in recent years. Now is the time to seek ideas and guidance from other leaders who have triumphed in the wake of a disaster. In this vein, Leadership Dispatches is both a remarkable story of resilience and an instructive look at how those with the greatest responsibility for a country, company, or community should lead.

About the Authors

Michael Useem is William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management and director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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Howard Kunreuther is the James G. Dinan Professor Emreitus of Decision Sciences and Public Policy and Co-Director of the Center for Risk Management and Decision Processes at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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Michael Useem is William and Jaclyn Egan Professor of Management at The Wharton School, where he is also Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management. His previous books include The India Way, The Go Point, Leading Up, The Leadership Moment, and Boards that Lead.

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