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Publisher's Summary

Lessons for leaders on resolving the ongoing struggle between instinct and the creative mind. Kings, heads of government, and corporate executives lead thousands of people and manage endless resources, but may not have mastery over themselves. Often leaders know that right action is important, but have little (if any) understanding of what prevents them from acting in accordance with their intentions. In this important book, leadership expert Richard Daft portrays this dilemma as a struggle between instinct (elephant) and intention (the executive) using the most current research on the intentional vs. the habitual mind to explain how this phenomenon occurs.

The Executive and the Elephant is based on current research and real-life examples. It offers leaders a method for directing themselves more productively and was written by an expert in leadership, organizational performance, and change management.

Through real-life examples and recent studies in psychology, management, and Eastern spirituality Daft provides guidance to all of us who struggle finding our own balance and cultivating the behavior of others.

©2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (P)2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Not for all leaders

If you are highly analytical and lack the ability to connect with people this is the book for you. If you have a hard time relating to others or building relationship - listen to this audiobook.

But if you are able to easily make relationships and lead intelligently but from the heart, give this a pass.

The principles in this book are good but probably better for someone who leads an accounting firm opposed to an ad agency (please excuse the stereotype - it's just an exaggerated illustration to help make the point - I know plenty of empathetic accounting managers).

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Book review

Great book. Repetitive though.

I find the people that read these "types" of books are not the ones that need to see the world different than they do.

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  • Joseph
  • Springfield, NJ, USA
  • 06-16-12

I wish I read this 20 years ago..

What made the experience of listening to The Executive and the Elephant the most enjoyable?

Touches on many areas that have been a challenge for me as a manager and business professional. Well written and narrated (narrator is not the author); also well researched touching on eastern and western philosophies and approaches to meditation. Describes many situations that are common in every day life and work - getting cut off by another car while driving your kids to soccer practice. Do you react? Elephant. Do you let it go? Executive.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Executive and the Elephant?

The concept of watching your own thoughts, almost as if a 3rd party, was the most memorable moment. Since hearing that concept I have done this regularly - and it works. It works all the time. This is not a pure conceptual book, it has exercises that the author encourages the reader to practice, immediately.

Have you listened to any of Bob Dunsworth’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. Good narrator. A little too emphatic at times, but overall very good.

Any additional comments?

I've listened end-to-end twice so far and will again.

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Okay, but....

Would you try another book from Richard L. Daft and/or Bob Dunsworth?

I don't think I would try another book by Richard L. Draft

Any additional comments?

This is an okay book with some good information, but i think at times he is just trying to add information just to lengthen the book. This is going to take some nimble teeth to get through. A better book is "The Power of Habit", it covers a lot of the same information, but is better put together, has better illustrations, and is better read by the narrator.