Discover the formula used by twenty-one of the world’s most extraordinary leaders to make consistent and smart decisions.
How do the wise decide and lead businesses and organizations to great success is the question Bryn Zeckhauser and Aaron Sandoski posed to themselves after landing their first jobs as managers. Despite the best training the world could offer—Harvard MBAs and stints at McKinsey & Company, the elite powerhouse consulting firm—they felt unprepared when faced with the pressure to make critical decisions. So they set out on a three-year quest to discover how people with remarkable success and experience in both corporate and public life—“the wise”—went about making crucial, often make-or-break decisions.
• How did William George, when CEO of Medtronic, get the real story about why a critical tool used by cardiologists was failing and use that information to fix a systemic problem within the company?
• When inventor Dean Kamen has to make a decision about investing in a new technology, why does he find it useful to “fill a room with barbarians” to get the best thinking from his team?
• How did Shelly Lazarus assess the risks of making a nontraditional career move, a decision that eventually led her to being appointed CEO?
• How did Stephen Schwarzman and Peter Peterson, the founders of The Blackstone Group, turn $400,000 of their own money into one of the world’s preeminent alternative asset managers with $100 billion under management?
These and the other accounts of the direct conversations Zeckhauser and Sandoski had with twenty-one major leaders show that between wise decisions and poor ones lie vast fortunes and extraordinary contrasts in success. How the Wise Decide distills their wisdom, and it reveals how you can use this wisdom to be on the winning side of the ledger.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: How the Wise Decide|
|Release Date: 08-26-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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How the Wise Decide
Go to the Source
Remember the game you played in kindergarten in which the class, one by one, passed on a whispered statement? When the last child told out loud what she had heard, it was nothing like what the first kid had whispered.
If you’re like most people, you’re playing a variation of that game every day at the office. Sure, you get authoritative-looking reports to read and you sit through detailed PowerPoint presentations. But you’re still getting the same kind of distorted and incomplete information that you got from your classmates in the kindergarten game. That doesn’t mean the information you get in the office isn’t useful. But you’re not going to the source to get firsthand information, far and away the best kind of information. You may argue that you get out of the office occasionally to meet with customers or suppliers to learn what they’re thinking, but that isn’t what we mean by going to the source. Going to the source is the relentless pursuit of information from the field. It is hard work, and it takes a lot of time, effort, and imagination.
Do you devote two-thirds of your work time to going to the source? As CEO of Medtronic, Bill George did. That’s how he got a bloody catheter thrown at him in an operating room and solved a serious problem confronting his company.
Do you make more than four hundred customer visits each year? That’s how Mike Ruettgers discovered deep in the bowels of a customer’s data processing center the need for a new product that revolutionized EMC’s fortunes.
Do you travel the world studying how your business thrives in r