Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2011 (Revised October 2011)

Scotty Smiley

by Scott A. Snook and Doug Crandall


U.S. Army Lieutenant Scotty Smiley faces the biggest challenge of his young life. What will he do after learning that the wounds he received from a car bomb in Iraq have left him permanently blinded? On April 6, 2005, Lieutenant Scotty Smiley was grievously wounded by a suicide bomber while leading his infantry platoon during a combat patrol in Iraq. This is a biographical case that outlines who Scotty was prior to this incident and asks readers to consider the following fundamental question: What does this tragic event mean for who he is and how he will lead his life? And by extension, what role do life crucibles play in helping to shape who we are and how we lead?

Keywords: Government Administration; Leadership Development; Leadership Style; Personal Characteristics; Customization and Personalization; Personal Development and Career; Work-Life Balance; Performance Capacity; Planning; Employment Industry; United States; Iraq;


Snook, Scott A., and Doug Crandall. "Scotty Smiley." Harvard Business School Case 412-058, September 2011. (Revised October 2011.)