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The Power of Paradox: The Protean Leader and Leading in Uncertain Times

Rosoff, Nina

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ISBN 10: 0415875102 / ISBN 13: 9780415875103
Published by Routledge, New York., 2011
New Condition: New Hardcover
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8vo, hardcover. No dj. NEW. Bright, crisp & clean, unread. xv, 219 p. Bookseller Inventory # 1120420.15

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Power of Paradox: The Protean Leader and...

Publisher: Routledge, New York.

Publication Date: 2011

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


Leaders’ actions can have consequences opposite to those they intend. These unintentional results are difficult to detect, understand, and change. Consequently, leaders’ actions tend to persist resulting in further unexpected outcomes. This can create a vicious cycle of leadership failure. With all their best efforts, strategic, financial, scenario, human capital and operational plans in place, they fail. Unaware, they self-sabotage and sabotage others; again, the result is unintended consequences, no matter how hard they try.

This book gives a glimpse into why and how this happens, and what to do about it.

Understanding the Power of Paradox can empower leaders in uncertain times. Paradox reveals uncertainty giving leaders room to breathe and time to think, better able to deal with ambiguity and manage complexity, no longer stymied. Learning to think differently and behave with capabilities, you already have, more resilient, adaptive and flexible leaders execute conscious actions effectively, inspire and empower others, creating the consequences they intend, successful Protean Leaders.

About the Author:

Nina Rosoff PhD is an Organization Behavioral Economist and Scientist. She has 45 years of experience researching, teaching as a practitioner/consultant and writer/author examining this area in business and in academia. Her career has been accounting for this slippery slope in an effort to make it useful to organization leader’s success, economically and as human beings.

Her interest in hidden processes, paradox, dilemma and ironies and impossible decisions leaders face everyday is not today, nor was it forty-five years ago, part of standard economics. This brought Rosoff face to face with the unattended dilemma of economics; how to lead in uncertainty and paradox. Simple problems afford simple answers. Complex problems require complex answers. The economy is a very complex problem. The more complex the problem the more leaders do nothing.

What she observed working with global leaders at all organization levels is their tendency to simplify complex problems in order to offer a solution. The complexity of the economy does not go away. Leaders ignore and lose sight of this complexity by denying its presence not because they want to, but because of their own human inadequacies and ego limitations. The result is most leaders do not embrace ambiguity and manage complexity.

This is the challenge she took on. How might Rosoff find one small, apparently unrelated, inconsequential organization behavioral economic idea to empower leader’s success 51% of the time by executing intended consequences, rather than failing 51% of the time because their best of intentions result in what she calls The Law of Unintended Consequences?

In 2010/2011, organizational behavioral economics is the platform for Rosoff’s book. It is where organizations, human beings and money meet.

Her book brings organization behavioral economics into standard economics by offering leaders a way to embrace ambiguity and manage complexity rather than ignore it or deny its presence. Less stymied they are able to think dynamically with better human intelligence consistently successful economically, organizationally and as leaders.

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