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The Brain Advantage: Become a More Effective Business Leader Using the Latest Brain Research Kindle Edition

6 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"A well-researched book that outlines the issues and surprises about the brain that leaders could do well to understand." --David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work, founding president of the NeuroLeadership Institute

"A very ambitious book, highly readable and entertaining, showing how the latest findings in neuropsychology are relevant to effective management." --Gary Klein, Ph.D., Applied Research Associates, author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions

About the Author

Madeleine L. Van Hecke, PhD (Elmhurst, IL), is a licensed clinical psychologist; a former Professor of Psychology at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois; and a lecturer and workshop leader for Open Arms Seminars. She is the author of Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things.

Lisa P. Callahan (Bartlett, IL) is the global lead for learning and knowledge management for the outsourcing practice at Accenture. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company.

Brad Kolar (Naperville, IL) is the president of Kolar Associates, a management and leadership consulting company. He was formerly the chief learning officer at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Ken A. Paller, PhD (Evanston, IL), works as a cognitive neuroscientist at Northwestern University. He is also a Fellow of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, a Professor of Psychology, and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Program at the university.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2994 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; Original edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Publication Date: November 24, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002WTBU06
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Shapiro on November 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received a copy of the manuscript a while back. I found the book to be fascinating. I love neuroscience. And my specialty is innovation with large corporations. Over the years, I read many books which tell you how to be a better leader. I have discovered techniques from 25 years of my own experience. But this was the first time I read WHY certain techniques work. The book does an excellent job pulling together neuroscience research from over the years and connecting it to human behavior. It provides hard evidence for the "soft" skills we use in business.

In full disclosure, I know two of the authors. Having said that, although I know A LOT of authors, I have never been inspired to write an Amazon book review for any of their books...until now. If you like neuroscience and leadership, then you'll really enjoy this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on January 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
The human brain is a complex and often perplexing bundle of neurons and tissue that is capable of producing remarkable creativity on one hand and profound absurdity on the other hand; most of us, from time to time have experienced moments on both sides of the mental spectrum; understanding what causes the brain to act the way it does is an essential skill for any business leader to maximize their effectiveness in running their organizations, and Madeleine L Van Hecke has compiled this fascinating study to help facilitate that goal.

Her research strongly suggests the role of the leader in fostering the right environment for innovation and creativity is one of the key ingredients for breeding long-term success for any organization. Not surprisingly, the leaders who displayed a little compassion, some humor, and a non-threatening mangement style, generally fared better than those who managed through intimidation; they understand that employee engagement produces the desired results, while low morale generally results in high employee turnover and diminished productivity.

Most importantly, Van Hecke provides the pragmatic strategies leaders can implement by understanding the elements that go into our decision making processes, and by forcing ourselves to ask some simple, yet tough questions about how organizations operate, and "what if" we changed our approaches in many areas. The answers may surprise many of us on what we thought were "tried and true" systems turned out to be "tired and worn out"; it just took a little closer look to reveal their inherent weaknesses.

This is great work and would greatly enhance any leader's effectiveness in running their organization; that's a real no-brainer.
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Format: Paperback
There have been several dozen books published in recent years whose authors suggest what business lessons can be learned from recent research in neuroscience, and in some instances with a focus of developing metacognition. In my opinion, The Brain Advantage is among the best and I commend its coauthors -- Madeleine Van Heck, Lisa Callahan, Brad Kolar, and Ken Paller -- on the quality of the material they provide as well as on the clarity with which they present it. They make skillful use of several reader-friendly devices in each of the 24 chapters. These are the devices: "What's the Story" (background and context to what follows), "Interesting, But So What?" tees up "How Can I Use This Information as a Business Leader?" (applying what recent and relevant brain research reveals), and "What If?" (accommodates the need for contingency planning), There is also an end-of-chapter "Notes" section. This format achieves two separate but related objectives: It actively engages the reader in the flow of information, insights, and counsel; it also facilitates, indeed expedites frequent review of key material later.

At this point, three key points need to be stressed. Contrary to what many people believe, the capabilities of the human brain can be developed over time. That is, "intellectual firepower" can increased, sometimes substantially, Next, as Carol Dweck's research clearly indicates, people tend to have one of two mindsets: growth or fixed. The former embraces potentialities, the latter denies them. Henry Ford probably had this in mind when observing, "whether you think you or think you can't, you're probably right.
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