When Leaders Face Personal Crisis : The Human Side of Leadership book cover
1st Edition

When Leaders Face Personal Crisis
The Human Side of Leadership

ISBN 9780367345655
Published April 3, 2020 by Routledge
178 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines a relatively unexplored area of leadership research – personal aspects of leadership – by considering the impact of leaders navigating their own personal crises on their relationships with teams, peers, and supervisors. Through original research as well as an integrative review of the literature, Hickman and Knouse focus on the "leader-as-person in crisis," including the real-life personal crises and experiences of leaders. This important volume offers a detailed and thoughtful description of intersecting factors that contribute to the ways in which leaders experience and cope with personal crises to spur additional research attention to this neglected area. This book also offers current and prospective leaders advice and direction on effectively navigating personal crises.

Table of Contents


  1. Personal crisis as a stressful life event
  2. Coping with crisis
  3. Deciding to disclose, asking for help
  4. The organization’s interpersonal environment
  5. Responsibility for leadership: adaptive approaches
  6. Toward a culture of reciprocal care: advice and recommendations
  7. Leaders in personal crisis: proposals for practice and research

Appendix A: Preliminary Study Methods

Appendix B: Study 1 Methods and Participant Description

Appendix C: Study 2 Methods, Participant Description, and Supplementary Tables


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Gill Robinson Hickman is Professor of Leadership Studies Emerita in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.

Laura E. Knouse is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Richmond and a licensed clinical psychologist.