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Extended Audio Sample Left Brain, Right Stuff: How Leaders Make Winning Decisions, by Phil Rosenzweig Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Phil Rosenzweig Narrator: Christopher Lane Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Left Brain, Right Stuff takes up where other books about decision making leave off. For many routine choices, from shopping to investing, we can make good decisions simply by avoiding common errors, such as searching only for confirming information or avoiding the hindsight bias. But as Phil Rosenzweig shows, for many of the most important, more complex situations we face—in business, sports, politics, and more—a different way of thinking is required. Leaders must possess the ability to shape opinions, inspire followers, manage risk, and outmaneuver and outperform rivals.

Making winning decisions calls for a combination of skills: clear analysis and calculation—left brain—as well as the willingness to push boundaries and take bold action—right stuff. Of course leaders need to understand the dynamics of competition, to anticipate rival moves, to draw on the power of statistical analysis, and to be aware of common decision errors—all features of left brain thinking. But to achieve the unprecedented in real-world situations, much more is needed. Leaders also need the right stuff. In business, they have to devise plans and inspire followers for successful execution; in politics, they must mobilize popular support for a chosen program; in the military, commanders need to commit to a battle strategy and lead their troops; and in start-ups, entrepreneurs must manage risk when success is uncertain. In every case, success calls for action as well as analysis, and for courage as well as calculation.

Always entertaining, often surprising, and immensely practical, Left Brain, Right Stuff draws on a wealth of examples in order to propose a new paradigm for decision making in sync with the way we have to operate in the real world. Rosenzweig’s smart and perceptive analysis of research provides fresh, and often surprising, insights on topics such as confidence and overconfidence, the uses and limits of decision models, the illusion of control, expert performance and deliberate practice, competitive bidding and new venture management, and the true nature of leadership.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[This] reads like a call to action for social-science researchers, imploring them to expand their scope and refine their methodology so that their conclusions will be more pertinent to the thorny choices faced by corporate leaders. Surely Mr. Rosenzweig is onto something here: Researchers need to venture outside the lab and observe the real-world expression of the phenomena they are dissecting.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Rosenzweig challenges the reader to contemplate the context of real-world decisions… [his] storytelling is fascinating.”

    Huffington Post

  • “The author examines elements associated with decision-making, including exerting control, outdoing an adversary, and generating better performance in the business world…Executives will find Rosenzweig’s chapter on the distinctiveness of a leader’s decisions valuable, while academics will more likely appreciate his section on decision models…Rosenzweig’s advice is sound and his prose is highly readable.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Rosenzweig…offers a different slant on how successful businessmen and other leaders assess risk. Cognitive psychologists have accumulated convincing evidence about how many of our decisions depend on intuitive thinking, a right-brain function, rather than left-brain, rational judgment. Numerous experiments have demonstrated how a positive mindset and reliance on intuition can play an important role in success in sports, but our right-brain rapid-response system may also lead us to overoptimism and biases that cloud judgment in other situations…A provocative reconsideration of the power of positive thinking.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “With compelling accounts and research results, Phil Rosenzweig takes us through the world of big, strategic decisions. They are thorny, complex, and risky, and he shows that they require analytic thinking, intuitive judgment, and personal confidence without certitude. Left Brain, Right Stuff delivers an invaluable framework for making good and timely decisions by all who sit in a leadership chair.”

    Michael Useem, director of the Wharton Leadership Center, University of Pennsylvania, and coauthor of Boards That Lead

  • Left Brain, Right Stuff will help (force) you to rethink what you thought you knew about behavior and decision making…Read it twice: once for the enjoyment of it, and once for pragmatic applications. It is certain to provoke the right kinds of discussions within your management team, and to raise your organization’s hit rate for effective decision making.” 

    Adrian J. Slywotzky, partner, Oliver Wyman, and author of Demand

  • “No one thinks as clearly—and writes as clearly—as Phil Rosenzweig does about the diagnostic challenges of assessing the quality of business judgment and about the prescriptive challenges of improving it.”

    Philip E. Tetlock, Annenberg University professor, University of Pennsylvania, author of Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?

  • Left Brain, Right Stuff intrigued me on a number of levels. By parsing strategic situations, Rosenzweig convinces us that we control more than we think we do. When we believe in ourselves, we increase the probability of a great outcome. Then add in an understanding of ‘winner take all’ competition and the need to assess relative performance (not absolute performance), and my eyes were opened wide.”

    Joanna Barsh, director emeritus, McKinsey and Company

  • “This fine book argues that the accepted tenets of behavioral economics are inadequate when dealing with strategic decisions in which the players can influence the outcome. The gripping stories neatly reveal the true complexity that is not captured in laboratory experiments, and put a needed reality check on the standard dogma of decision making. Essential reading.” 

    David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, Cambridge University

  • “Christopher Lane delivers a splendid performance of this fascinating audiobook about optimal decision making. His resonant voice and interesting phrasing make every sentence express its full meaning…Though the author’s writing is as powerful as it is meticulously organized, it’s given even more energy by the narrator’s vibrant interpretation and obvious affection for the material. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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