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Executive Intelligence: What All Great Leaders Have
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060781874, Hardcover)The basic premise of Justin Menkes's book is simple: just as math problems require a certain kind of quantitative intelligence, or relationships require the delicacy of emotional intelligence, strong business leadership rests on executive intelligence. Menkes has worked as an organizational consultant for an impressive roster of blue-chip companies--the CEOs of Gillette, Amgen, and Tyco offer their praise on the back cover of Executive Intelligence--and his experience shows in this thought-provoking volume. Clearly patterned after Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence, the seminal book that explained a theory of multiple intelligences which might leave a person highly expert in one area but surprisingly deficient in others, Executive Intelligence provides a helpful analysis of the cognitive abilities which define strong leaders.
Menkes starts his book by breaking down the different components of executive intelligence. He argues that conventional behavioral frameworks which try to prescribe rote behaviors fail for leadership coaching, due to the need for customized solutions based on the specific circumstances of each business and leader. Instead, the best executives benefit from critical thinking, which helps them gather, process, and apply information to reach goals and navigate complex situations.
Three key areas of this executive intelligence receive significant attention through the book's 17 chapters. The first centers on tasks, and executives' ability to identify problems, devise solutions, and exercise good judgment in pursuing those solutions. The second area of intelligence is social, and revolves around executives' management of relationships with others. Intriguingly, Menkes does not view the social component of executive intelligence as "charisma", or a "good personality", per se; more important than those qualities, he argues, is the ability to see others' viewpoints, to be able to balance among competing views, and to communicate effectively. The third area of executive intelligence is more inwardly focused on leaders themselves, on their abilities to learn from their mistakes, and to adjust behavior to avoid repeating them. In each of these sections, readers will find a mix of real-world examples from the experiences of Fortune 500 leaders like Gillette's Jim Kilts or AOL's Jon Miller, and more theoretical arguments grounded in review of other management books and business-review articles.
The potential audience for Executive Intelligence is large: it includes executives and aspiring executives, of course, but also those who must coach or evaluate leaders, and scholars focused on leadership development. As an addition to the literature on leadership development, following classics like On Becoming a Leader and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, this book will find its way onto many managers' shelves. --Peter Han
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 08 Jan 2013 22:01:16 -0500)
"Based on eight years of research on intelligence tests and cognitive skills, Executive Intelligence reveals the set of aptitudes that all brilliant leaders share. Dr. Justin Menkes, a renowned leadership expert, verified these findings through hundreds of interviews with senior executives, including thirty of the most celebrated CEOs in the world. Menkes discovered that just as great mathematicians share an exceptional facility for skills such as computation and deductive reasoning, great managers also have a certain set of cognitive skills that are at the heart of business acumen."--BOOK JACKET.
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