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Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their…

Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World

by Al Pittampalli

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Recently added byRazinha, mysticrose29

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Assigned reading for a seminar. Well, the executive summary was assigned - I wanted to read the actual book (I read the summary, too.) Good stuff here, some of which I already apply to myself in my professional life. Admittedly, more in my professional life than personal, but I'm working on it. Bottom line up front (BLUF): be willing to change your mind in the face of new evidence.

I do have a few critical observations for Pittampalli...in one scenario, he quotes the New Yorker's John Cassidy description of Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio's anticipation of economic trends as "uncanny". Now, to be fair, Pittampalli is quoting someone else, but by quoting him, I assume Pittampalli concurs. Continued success in a particular field - even one such as investing - is hardly "uncanny". A few spotty successes, maybe, but one after another?

On resisting influence, Pittampalli uses an example of ordering a red wine and having the waiter recoil with the pairing an insist of a white. The response, he claims, under reactance theory, dictates that you dig in and not only stick with you choice, but convince yourself to like it even more. My problem with this? Bad example. I don't like whites as a rule and find the whole pairing thing to be a silly affectation. Should a waiter act like that, I'd call the manager over.

There are more, but there are also nuggets of wisdom to extract and retain. "In order to lead, we must be understood. But in order to be understood, we need first to understand." Yep. And the implicit costs of wanting to make the best decision are coupled with how much time is spent chasing down a fractional savings. I've senn people drive across town to save $0.10 on gas, and spend hours - literally hours - on reconciling a budget differential of cents, when "close enough" was actually good enough.

And Pittampalli cites a George Bernard Shaw quote:"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” It’s a quote that is repeated often by activists and change makers of all stripes. But the philosophy is incomplete. Because although those who adapt surrounding conditions to themselves are critical to progress, in every successful social movement, if you look closely, you’ll find people whose willingness to be reasonable and to change their minds are what enabled progress.
Spot on. But the best nugget - and I'm not fond of "best" anything labels - comes from the first anecdote about Admiral William Mcraven, and it's one I've added to my toolbox:“You know, I haven’t thought about that, but I need to.”

Worth the quick read, folks. ( )
1 vote Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
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