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BOOK REVIEW: How to sidestep leadership traps

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Unquestioned Brilliance: Navigating a Fundamental Leadership Trap, by John Austin

AUTHOR Dr John Austin is an occasional teacher at some of the finest business schools in the US, and consults to Fortune 500 companies. In this book he shares techniques he uses with leaders, all of which are based on solid research on cognition, decision-making, strategic thinking, and organisational change.  

Unquestioned brilliance, the title of this book, is the consequence of having been successful in the past, leading to confidence in one’s intelligence and viewpoints. However, the downside is the real possibility of not even considering other, better points of view or solutions. This is not an indication that leaders are egotistical megalomaniacs, Austin explains, but rather that they are human, as all of us struggle with balancing ignorance of what we don’t know, with the overconfidence in what we want to believe we do know.

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