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Comebacks: Powerful Lessons from Leaders Who Endured Setbacks and Recaptured Success on Their Terms Hardcover – April 26, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470583754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470583753
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap


Comebacks features an all-star cast of ten business leaders who have endured career setbacks—for some a public fall in the midst of extreme media scrutiny—then reassessed and moved ahead with new purpose. Based on revealing interviews, the profiles in the book provide a behind-the-headlines glimpse into the lives of seasoned leaders, showing how they drew upon resources, both internal and external, to navigate their way forward and to learn leadership and life lessons that allowed them to redefine success. Together, the ten profiles reveal that all leaders face adversity, but true leaders turn adversity into success—and redefine success through their leadership. High-profile leaders featured include:

  • Jamie Dimon, renowned chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase who, at the peak of his career with Citigroup, was fired as president.

  • Former HP chair Patricia Dunn who, after a corporate espionage scandal hit the company, resigned as chairman and then faced felony charges while battling cancer. Completely exonerated, she is now active in philanthropic work.

  • Former Baxter International CEO Harry Kraemer who, after twenty-two years at the pharmaceutical firm, had to step down after the company scaled back its earnings forecasts. He is now a highly regarded business professor at Northwestern University and an executive partner in a private equity firm.

  • Former Ford Motor Company CEO Jacques Nasser who, forced to resign from the automaker after devoting years to the company, has recently assumed the prestigious position of chairman of BHP Billiton, the world's largest natural resources company.

  • Former founder and CEO of JetBlue David Neeleman who, asked to step down after a series of weather-related delays in 2007 caused an uproar among passengers and consumers, has moved on to found a new airline in Brazil.

In turbulent economic times, when careers are derailed by layoffs and leaders are forced to rewrite their professional plans, Comebacks offers introspection that enlightens as well as uplifts. Honest and soul-searching, the stories in Comebacks will resonate with anyone who is experiencing a reversal, is disillusioned by career choices, or is exploring new paths that are better aligned with their values and priorities.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Comebacks

"Andrea Redmond and Patricia Crisafulli have brilliantly captured the inside story of ten outstanding executives facing severe setbacks and how they recovered to go on to future success. The authors provide deep insights of the impact of losing your way, yet having the resilience to bounce back."—Bill George, professor of management practice, Harvard Business School and bestselling author, True North and Seven Lessons for Leading in Crisis

"Comebacks addresses a topic no one really wants to discuss: how to deal with failure and setbacks. The real stories and practical advice from those who have taken their tumbles from a public pedestal will resonate with leaders, but there are important and profound lessons for everyone. I wish I had this book earlier in my career!"—Russell Fradin, chairman and CEO, Hewitt Associates

"Chronicling some of the highest profile executive downfalls of the modern era, Redmond and Crisafulli's Comebacks richly reaffirms the value of private resilience and personal networks for overcoming a career catastrophe. Here are the wrenching accounts of those who suffered the great fall—and how they recovered to lead another way."—Michael Useem, professor of management and director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

"Comebacks offers outstanding insights into the personal lives of leaders whose resilience turns public failure into private success. The lessons of resilience from these renowned individuals apply to each of us who takes risks, pushes limits, and creates a future. We all need to 'come back' from disappointment and this book offers us hope and a means of doing so."—Dave Ulrich, professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and partner, The RBL Group

"Comebacks offers a rare, intimate, and honest look into the lives of leaders who have faced adversity and turned it into an opportunity for personal transformation. Anyone seeking to create a 'second act' after experiencing tough challenges will find in this book the insights and inspiration to go from setback to comeback."—Dipak C. Jain, the Sandy and Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and former dean of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nikki D. Reed on April 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Comebacks relates the personal account of current and former highly placed corporate executives, many of whom the author recruited for the CEO position they unexpectedly found themselves losing. As senior partner and co-head of the CEO/ board services practice of a highly regarded global executive search firm, Andrea Redmond rose to the top of her field by skillfully placing CEO candidates at the helm of Fortune 100 companies such as Bank One (now JPMorgan Chase), United Airlines, and Hewlett Packard. Redmond and Crisafulli draw on this experience as they relate each executive's story in a manner that is informative, sensitive and insightful.
Redmond has a reputation for being a top executive recruiter in no small part due to the genuine, honest, and intensely personal way she handles every relationship in both her professional and private life. As a result, many of the men and women she encountered in her professional life have become close friends in her private life. The very high profile Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Patty Dunn, former CEO of Barclay's and board chairman of Hewlett Packard are just two examples. In Comebacks, Redmond and Crisafulli revisit Dimon, Dunn and other current and former CEOs as they relate the events leading up to their "fall from grace" and the journey each took to find success on a different level.
What sets this book apart from the majority of "business books" is the obvious personal relationship between Redmond and the executives she interviews. The result is a frank and fascinating look into each executive's rise and fall.
Comebacks is a must read for anyone who wonders how to succeed in business as well as how to cope when things don't work out the way we planned.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is light and easy to read which is great if you find yourself on the bottom of the ladder. I read this book on a weekly basis, literally reading 1 or maximum 2 chapters a week, just to enjoy it and the stories so that I can comeback with logic and also realize how other people handled their situations. It does not go into a lot of depth which is actually a good thing at a time of uncertainty. Just finished this book, i'm looking for another book similar to this one to continue the momentum. Ill keep this one in my library, maybe I can help someone one day by giving them this book. Thanks.
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Format: Hardcover
This book takes us into the world of the high-powered executive, offering a view that many of us rarely have of this high-flying group. However, there are some very important lessons for any chief executive to take away. Chapter 6 resonated with me and provided some good lessons for a smaller company CEO. Kraemer's philosophy of self reflection, humility, a balanced life, values-based leadership and true self-confidence are scalable for any organization. Thanks Tricia and Andrea for providing this valuable insight.
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