- Managing in Recession
- Curriculum Vitae
- Why clients use James Cooke
- Dear Harry
- Understanding Leaders
This book has set out to explain why we are the way we are. We are born with a range of fundamental drivers – a starter pack of human software. But if these drivers are abused, we can develop patterns of behaviour, habits that allow us to hide from, cover up, turn a blind eye to what feels too tough to confront. We are especially vulnerable to such traumas when we are very young. We also develop ways of learning that allow us to tolerate ambiguity and change to a greater or lesser extent. For most of us, learning new things is intensely rewarding – we enjoy the “Aha” moment as we fill in or explain gaps in our understanding. Some, however, have an excessive need to be right, to win, to be better than the next person. For them being wrong is a failure, and such people fear failure so greatly that they would rather deny the evidence before their eyes than confront the need to change. For these people in particular, active and enquiring listening is hard. Their focus is on their own reaction to what is being said, rather than on first trying truly to understand what is the real meaning or feeling behind the words being used. This will be especially true when the other speaker is being critical of them. An inability to listen so as to understand, lies at the heart of our failure to appreciate the differences between us and to enjoy them, rather than be frustrated by them.
We have looked at how to use language , so as to reduce the overt threat to others and increase, at least a little, the chance of being given a good hearing. In looking further at the differences between us, the book has focussed on the most important, and tried to set out an understanding of the differences between the systemic mind (largely male) and the empathetic brain (largely female). By looking at the extraordinary worlds of men and women, we hopefully have a chance to re-launch our lives and transform the pleasure and fun we have with one another.
And then in the last two chapters, armed with our new thinking, we have looked at Leadership and Followership.
Throughout the book has tried as far as possible to do two other things. In the first place to use real quotable historical examples. In some cases, Kings (Kaiser Wilhelm), Presidents (Lincoln), Prime Ministers (Clemenceau) and of course it has referred to business leaders (Jack Welch). Wherever it seemed particularly appropriate, it has drawn examples from major events and people of today, as well as from the great battles of the past. Throughout, I have done this to make the points stick. I want you to tell the stories to your friends and to make them memorable. For the points do not, by any means, relate exclusively to the largest players on the stage of history – they relate as much to you and me and the people next door. They matter just as much to us.
The second aim has been to introduce some of the most important and intriguing writers, as a taster bibliography for you to delve into and follow up as you look for more detail and more understanding. I recommend each and every one of these experts unconditionally. Without exception, their mastering of their subject and the brilliance both of their insights and the quality of their writing is outstanding.