Today’s newspapers carry the awful news of yet another attack on a bus in Israel that killed 20 people. Every front page of every daily carries the horrifying photos of that attack. But can you imagine what it would be like to manage that bus company? Can you imagine what it would be like to lead an organization whose employees and customers are literally being murdered?
In our current September issue, now on the newstands, we have an extraordinary story on that very topic, an exclusive profile of the company that runs 80% of the bus routes in Israel. It is one of those stories that make me extremely proud to be editor of Fast Company. And it is also one of those stories that show how different a business magazine we are.
The company, Egged, responds to these attacks in a typically pragmatic Israeli way. “We live with it,” says Arik Feldman, chairman. “That’s our harsh reality. And if a bus blows up, it doesn’t stop us from running public transportation. It gives us more courage to continue so no one can prevent us from living here.”
As this remarkable and dramatic story clearly notes, “There is no management book, no business-school case study, on how to lead a company that has become a target of war. As much as any particular security measure or management plan, what has kept Egged’s executives and managers going during the intifada is the attitude Feldman expresses. It’s not simply persistence or determination. It’s a refusal to be a victim, even of circumstances you don’t control.”