Executive Instinct : Managing the Human Animal in the Information Age
- ISBN-13: 9780812931976
In this remarkable book, Nigel Nicholson takes a fresh, novel, and penetrating look at human nature and why we do what we do at work. * Why we let one piece of bad news drive out 100 pieces of good.* Create the "us versus them" problem by immediately classifying people as winners and losers.* And think we can "tough things out," ignoring clues of disaster staring us in the face.The explanation of these, and hundreds of other perplexing, frequently unproductive ways that people think and act at work lies in understanding the emotional and behavioral hardwiring that is the legacy of our Stone Age ancestors. Nigel Nicholson is at the forefront of the exciting -- some would say radical -- new field of evolutionary psychology. While we have to cope with the modern world and the complexities of working in organizations, we do so with brains hardwired for Stone Age realities. Nicholson uses the ideas of evolutionary psychology to challenge many conventional beliefs about human nature with a more realistic picture of what motivates people and shapes their thoughts and actions at work. We constantly hear that there is no limit to what we can do and who we can be. By force of will and the exercise of our great intelligence we can reengineer organizations and always make rational decisions. Politics, turf wars, rumor, and gossip can be eliminated. Status and sex differences can count for naught. It's time to get real and end this kind of utopian daydreaming. Evolutionary psychology shows that we are animals with a highly engineered, genetically encoded design for our bodies and our minds. Nicholson's insights from evolutionary psychology will intrigue and inform those looking to understand our instincts and manage them with skill. Several of the highly practical realizations he provides readers include:* Why we create problems for ourselves by imagining that the differences between the sexes or their effects can be eliminated.* How inborn differences in temperament make people either fit or unfit for leadership positions and why organizations get the kind of leaders they deserve.* Why gossip and rumor are not destructive forces but the lifeblood of communication in the world of work.* Why there is a limit to the size of organizations as integrated communities, best described as "the rule of 150."Nigel Nicholson's brilliant and practical Executive Instinct enables you to manage with -- not against -- the grain of human nature.
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