Best Review of Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds To Change The World:
Most helpful customer reviews 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Clear and insightful By Mike A truly fresh take on the leadership of the future. 8 of 8 people found the following review helpful. Why leaders should demand to know whatever they need to know, especially if it is contrary to what they now think By Robert Morris Those who are persuadable have a mindset that is both willing and able – indeed eager -- to consider diverse perspectives, especially those that challenge their cherished assumptions and premises. The healthiest organizations are those in which principled dissent is not merely encouraged; in fact, it is required.This is what Al Pittampalli has in mind when suggesting that being persuadable demonstrates “the genuine willingness and ability to change your mind in the face of new evidence. Being persuadable requires rejecting absolute certainty, treating your beliefs as temporary, and acknowledging the possibility that no matter how confident you are about any particular opinion – you could be wrong. It involves actively seeking out criticism and counterarguments against even your most long-standing favored beliefs. Most important, persuadability entails evaluating those arguments as objectively as possible and updating your beliefs accordingly.”I agree with Pittampalli that persuadability is “a vastly underappreciated advantage in business and life.” He identifies and explains seven practices of persuadable leaders, practices distilled from cutting edge research from cognitive and social psychology. Here they are:1. Consider the Opposite2. Update Your Beliefs Incrementally3. Kill Your Darlings4. Take the Perspective of Others5. Avoid Being Too Persuadable6. Convert Early7. Take on Your Own Tribe“These simple yet powerful habits have accelerated the path to success for some of the best leaders in the world, and they have the potential to do the same for you.”There are several people I know who feel threatened by – and indeed resent – information and opinions that differ from theirs. Paradoxically, at least in my experience, those who possess the greatest self-confidence are most persuadable as Pattampalli defines it. But of course here are others so set in their ways that even Bob Cialdini could not get them to consider another perspective. With rare exception, dull people have stale ideas.These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of his coverage:o Hedgehogs and Foxes: ACCURACY (Pages 21-29)o Changing Course: AGILITY (29-36)o The Supershrinks: GROWTH (36-43)o The Autonomous Leader (47-49)o Ralph Waldo Emerson, Joseph Campbell, and the Culture of Heroic Defiance (51-55)o The Illusion of Nonconformity (61-65)o The Flip-Flop Hunter (70-75)o Abraham Lincoln, Master of Reversals (79-83)o The Motivated Confirmation Bias: Why We Like Ourselves Too Much for the Facts to Count (88-92)o The Unmotivated Confirmation Bias: Why Not Mattering Can Still Matter (92-99)o The Art of Sacrifice (122-124)o Lean Entrepreneurs and the Fastest Way to Truth (124-130)o Why Power Has a Difficult Time Perspective Taking (144-147)o Recruit Others to Help You Kill Your Darlings (134-140)Note: Pittampalli is spot-on when stressing the importance of perspective taking to effective leadership. Think of it as “strategic emotional intelligence” to help gain an advantage, to be sure, but also to nourish a relationship of mutual trust and respect, not only in the workplace but in all other dimensions of human experience.o Develop a Habit of Perspective Taking (153-154)o The $125 Spoon and Other Costs of Being Too Persuadable (159-162)o Beware “The Resistance” (165-166)o How to Be Decisive without Being Close-Minded(167-168)o Persuadable Leaders and Accelerate Collective Progress (173-174)o How Social Movements Happen (174-177)o Three Degrees of Influence (180-183)o The End of the End Zone? (183-186)o The Benefit of Leniency, and, The Importance of Being Flexible (191-195)o Challenging Your Own Tribe (197-201Here is a brief, representative selection of Pattampalli’s comments on four persuadable leaders:On Abraham Lincoln: “The story of the Great Emancipator is a complex one filled with inconsistencies [about slavery, colonization, and allowing ’the Colored man’ to vote]. And inconsistency, despite its detractors, is what is often required in great leadership…You can’t evaluate consistency or inconsistency [e.g. Abraham Lincoln’s ‘flip-flops’] without looking at the context that surrounds it. Without all the facts and influences, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether someone is acting with integrity or not.”On Jeff Bezos: “Unsatisfied with patiently waiting to be convinced that his favored beliefs [about digital books] were wrong, Bezos was intent on killing them himself. And it paid off — big. Amazon and its Kindle device dominate the digital book world…Ordinary open-mindedness leads to ordinary growth and agility, but as Bezos proved, active open-mindedness leads to extraordinary growth and agility.”On what makes most of billionaire Ray Dalio’s investment decisions so successful: “Dalio doesn’t hold a mysterious almanac from the future that tells him which bets to make, like Biff Tannen from Back from the Future II. In fact, the secret to Dalio’s accuracy doesn’t lie in [begin italics] what [end italics] he knows. The secret is in [begin italics] how he thinks [end italics].”On Alan Mulally: He "saved Ford Motor Company, not by staying the course but by continually changing course in response to new data…To accommodate the unexpected delay [of introducing a new model, the Ford Edge], Mulally’s overall plan for Ford would have to change. But that was the whole point. This mindset is the essence of agile leadership.”One final and, yes, obvious point: The fact that someone is persuadable by no means reduces the need to be persuasive when attempting to convince that person to think and behave differently than they would otherwise. All great leaders will give thoughtful consideration to information that is valid, to logic that is solid, and to evidence that is sufficient and (if possible) verifiable. They also have built-in, shock-proof crap detectors. 10 of 12 people found the following review helpful. A "new" approach to viewing leadership By Camerons 4 stars for me. I really enjoyed the book. It gave me a new perspective on leadership. It was very well written and easily keeps interest. I only have one minor foible with it.Pittampalli's main thesis is that to be a better leader by changing one's own mind; not only being open to changing it, but embracing it. He says: "It involves actively seeking out criticism and counterarguments against even your most long-standing favored beliefs." Pittampalli covers multiple examples through stories on how as new inputs come in that rethinking one’s own beliefs can create real positive change, even if this doesn't quite fit the "decisive leader" mantra. The author sets up each chapter with a story to illustrate the key point he is about to make. Then he moves from the specific story to the actual point, walking through broader generalities and why the topic is important. Then he circles back to the story to close out the chapter. This whole approach is incredibly effective and displays why leaders (and all of us) should be very open to new inputs to help us navigate.Pittampalli uses several examples of famous people that he sees as Persuadable such as Abraham Lincoln, Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Alan Mulally (Ford), and Steve Jobs. He points out how they changed course frequently and were more successful as a result. I found Pittampalli to be "persuadable' in this case - and each example is well-thought out and explained.My only foible, which as I type, no other reviewer has pointed out is evidenced in Pittampalli's conclusions at the end. He stresses that we should always strive to be persuadable. This is an overstatement. As an example, Lincoln was not persuadable on the fact that the union should be preserved; he was persuadable on the tactics to get there. Great leaders seem to hold a "major belief" in their heads that is unshakable - and as a result - are persistent through setbacks. Yet to meet that goal of their "major belief" requires them to be persuadable in the tactics. If Pittampalli couched his "you should be persuadable" through this lens more solidly - I'd have been more "persuaded"!Overall, a very readable, practical book. See all 25 customer reviews...
“Al Pittampalli is leading a new generation of big thinkers. He’s willing to show us what works, and he does it with flair and generosity. Read this book and share it. Hurry.” (Seth Godin, Author of Your Turn)“The benefits of persuadability have long been underappreciated. No more, not after this compelling and well-informed account of when and how to change our minds most productively.” (Robert B. Cialdini, author of INFLUENCE)“In a complex decision-making environment, staying the course can often mean marching toward oblivion. That’s why PERSUADABLE is so refreshing. This terrific book is full of captivating stories and convincing research about the value of changing your mind, along with lessons that help you become a more effective leader.” (Daniel H. Pink, author of TO SELL IS HUMAN and DRIVE)“Pittampalli offers a crucial but counter-intuitive insight -- that being persuadable makes you more powerful -- and lays out why this is so and how to get there. In a different mood, I would tell you that it’s the best business book you’ll ever read.” (Douglas Stone, coauthor of Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the Feedback) From the Back Cover In an uncertain world, successful leaders are moving toward a more adaptive way of thinking: persuadability.Persuadability is the genuine willingness and ability to change your mind in the face of new evidence. Being persuadable requires rejecting absolute certainty, treating your beliefs as temporary, and acknowledging the possibility that—no matter how confident you are about any particular option—you could be wrong.In Persuadable, business consultant Al Pittampalli draws on unexpected evidence from social science, history, politics, and other areas to reveal why confidence, consistency, and conviction—usually considered leadership qualities—are increasingly becoming liabilities, while humility, inconsistency, and radical open- mindedness are powerful leadership assets.Unfortunately, all too often our culture sees the willingness to change one’s mind as a weakness. Persuadable dispels this myth once and for all by chronicling eminently strong leaders who have changed their minds and, as a result, have achieved exceptional success for themselves, their organizations, or society as a whole. You’ll learn how Ray Dalio became one of the most successful hedge fund managers by using the tools of persuadability. How Alan Mullaly saved Ford Motor Company, not by staying the course, but by continually changing course. How one Nobel Prize–winning scientist discovered the cause of ulcers by bravely doubting his own entrenched beliefs. You’ll learn how Billy Graham’s change of heart helped propel the civil rights movement, and how a young NFL linebacker’s radical new position may well alter the world of professional football as we know it.Distilling cutting-edge research from cognitive and social psychology, Persuadable offers the seven practices of persuadable leaders:• Consider the Opposite• Update Your Beliefs Incrementally• Kill Your Darlings• Take the Perspectives of Others• Avoid Being Too Persuadable• Convert Early• Take On Your Own TribeFull of actionable advice, Persuadable is an invaluable guide for today’s data-driven, results-oriented leader.“Al Pittampalli is leading a new generation of big thinkers. He’s willing to show us what works, and he does it with flair and generosity. Read this book and share it. Hurry.”—Seth Godin, author of Your Turn“The benefits of persuadability have long been underappreciated. No more, not after this compelling and well-informed account of when and how to change our minds most productively.”—Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence“In a complex decision-making environment, staying the course can often mean marching toward oblivion. That’s why Persuadable is so refreshing. This terrific book is full of captivating stories and convincing research about the value of changing your mind—along with practical lessons that can help you quash groupthink, resist confirmation bias, and become a more effective leader.”—Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive“Persuadable turns the persuasion industry on its head by suggesting that the key to success is not only how well you persuade others but how open you are to persuasion yourself. Pittampalli is so persuasive that by the end of the book, the idea no longer seems counterintuitive.”—Adam Galinsky, professor of business at Columbia Business School and coauthor of Friend and Foe About the Author Al Pittampalli is the author of Read This Before Our Next Meeting, a manifesto for transforming the way organizations hold meetings. As a business consultant, Al has helped organizations like NASA, Boeing, Hertz, and Nokia adapt to a fast-changing world. He is a former IT advisor at Ernst & Young LLP and lives in New York City.
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