May 14: Crucible Moments

Moments where you must stretch yourself far beyond relying on what you already know.

Source: Fact of the Day 1 interview with Jeff Wilke
Published: January 2021

Crucible Moments

It is in moments of challenge and adversity that Jeff Wilke says he learned the most about leadership. He calls these crucible moments because you must stretch yourself far beyond relying on what you already know; they are a “fiery place with a healthy dose of inherent chaos.” 

“In 2017 I led a team that presented a PR/FAQ to Jeff Wilke about building a one-stop shop for textured hair care products for black and multi-racial customers. At the review meeting, my team got the green light to start hiring and buildingTextures & Hues. Overnight, my focus switched from ideation and strategy to scoping and execution. My Crucible Moment was constantly making trade-offs to hit an aggressive timeline of launching within seven months - without sacrificing key elements of the customer experience.”

Rovina Valashiya, Principal, Product Marketing at Amazon

Bonus: The idea of crucibles as a learning experience is something championed by Warren Bennis and Bob Thomas, two influential thinkers about management. To learn more, read their Harvard Business Review article.

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