Resilient Leadership: Navigating the Pressures of Modern Working Life
By Professor George Kohlrieser and Anouk Lavoie Orlick with Michelle Perrinjaquet
Contributor: Rosa Luisa Rossi
At an IMD Discovery Event held in September 2014, more than 200 industry leaders gathered to hear Professor Kohlrieser speak about resilience in high-performing leadership. Every manager experiences stress and adversity, but must be able to bounce back in order to meet new challenges. Professor Kohlrieser highlighted the importance of adopting the right mindset and coping mechanisms in order to restore leaders to their full potential and energy.
Too many of the most prominent management gurus today make steel-clad guarantees, based on claims of irrefutable research, promising to reveal the secrets of why one company fails and another succeeds, and how you can become the latter.Combining equal measures of solemn-faced hype and a whole body of delusions, statistical and otherwise, these self-styled experts cloud our ability to think critically about the nature of success in business. Like a virus, these fundamental errors of thinking infect much of what we read, whether in leading business magazines, scholarly journals, or management bestsellers. Central among these delusions is the Halo Effect, the tendency on the part of the experts to point to the high financial performance of a successful company and then spread its golden glow to all its attributes: clear strategy, strong values, brilliant leadership, and outstanding execution. But should the same company’s sales head south, the very same attributes are turned on their heads and derided for poor decision making across the board – suddenly the strategy was wrong, the culture was complacent, and the leader became arrogant.The Halo Effect not only points out these delusions that keep us from understanding business performance, but also suggests a more accurate way to think about leading a company.
Dozens of books have been published recently on the errors and biases that affect our judgments and choices. Drawing on cognitive science, their lessons are excellent for many kinds of decisions – consumer choice and financial investments, for example – but stop short of addressing many of the most important decisions we face in management, where we can actively influence outcomes and where competitive forces mean we have to outperform rivals.As Phil Rosenzweig shows, drawing on examples from business, sports and politics, this sort of decision-making relies on mastering two very different abilities. First, the analytical problem-solving skills associated with the brain’s left hemisphere; and second, what Tom Wolfe called ‘the Right Stuff’: the ability to take calculated risks.
Bringing fresh and often surprising insights to topics including confidence and overconfidence, the uses and limits of decision models, leadership and authenticity, expert performance and deliberate practice, competitive bidding and new venture management, Left Brain, Right Stuff, the myth-busting follow-up to The Halo Effect, explains how to perform when making even the most difficult decisions.