Many leadership interventions in Madagascar and other countries have shown that focusing on leadership can be effective in leveraging and accelerating technical reforms in a variety of settings. Reinforcing leadership capacity is important because leaders play a critical role in prioritizing, leveraging, modeling and implementing reforms, and because they need new skills as their roles and responsibilities change as a result of reforms. This note tells the story of Madagascar's transformation after the 2001 crisis. Emerging from crisis and riddled with systemic and institutional barriers to development, amply manifest in all of its systems, structures, and in behaviors and perceptions at the individual level, Madagascar made significant progress through committed leadership and attention to systemic, underlying dysfunctions. It is the story of how delivery of customized support to those in power who are willing to make a difference can unleash capacity.