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The Stress Effect Why Smart Leaders Make Dumb Decisions--And What to Do About It

ISBN: 9780470589038 | 0470589035
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: 5/3/2010

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The ability to make sound and timely decisions is the mark of a good leader. But when leaders with otherwise strong track records suddenly begin making poor decisions-as seen in the recent corporate scandals that rocked the business world-the impact can be widespread. In The Stress Effect, leadership expert Henry L. Thompson argues that stress is often the real culprit behind this leadership failure: when leaders' stress levels become sufficiently elevated-whether in the boardroom or on the front lines of daily business-their ability to effectively use their emotional intelligence and cognitive ability in tandem to make wise decisions is significantly impaired.For example: An MIT study found something termed "analysis paralysis" whereby people who were given too much information in making stock decisions did not perform as well as people who received less information. When given too many options, our brains become overloaded and we feel forced to pick an option which might not be the best one for the situation.Until now, experts have argued that increasing your emotional intelligence will help you cope with and manage stress. This book suggests that stress actually blocks access to your emotional intelligence as well as your cognitive ability, two critical components in the decision-making process. This book: Shows how stress adversely affects the performance of even the most savvy leaders Reveals the truth about one of the prime factors behind the current failure of leadership Offers a solid prescription for building a "stress resilient system" and arms leaders with best practices for managing specific stressors that take the biggest toll on decision making.A groundbreaking and insightful resource for leaders, The Stress Effect reopens the dialogue on stress, its effect on decision making, and what to do about it.


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