The New York Times Sunday Business Section interviewed Cisco’s CEO John Chambers today. Chambers mentioned smart advice he got from former GE CEO Jack Welch on what makes a great company was genuinely true. When Chambers was facing a major business impediment, Welch told the networking CEO that the makings of a great company are “taking major setbacks and overcoming those.” Chambers thought he had already hit several roadblocks but Welch said that what he meant was not just an obstacle but a “near-death experience.” This is why leaders often say that the wasting a crisis is tragic. I have my fingers crossed that the near-death experiences we’ve seen over the past 18 months are just a sign of better things to come. As I always say, reputation can’t be left up to the roll of the dice. They need to be managed and often come from ashes.