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The Executive and the Elephant. A Leader's Guide for Building Inner Excellence. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 1451933
  • Book
  • August 2010
  • 336 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

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.

  • Based on current research and real-life examples
  • Offers leaders a method for directing themselves more productively
  • 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.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

Part One The Two Selves

1. The Problem of Managing Yourself 3

The Conflict Between Knowing and Doing

The Universal Failure of Willpower

The Divided Self: Executive and Elephant

Learning to Lead from Your Inner Executive

Purpose of This Book

2. Recognize Your Two Selves 15

Levels of Consciousness

Two Voices Within

Why Your Mind is Filled with Automatic Thoughts

Unfocused Elephant Mind Versus Focused Executive Presence

Small Box Versus Large Mind

Part Two Ways You May Mislead or Delude Yourself

3. Three Tendencies That Distort Your Reality 37

Your Internal Judge

Your Internal Magician

Your Internal Attorney

4. Every Leader’s Six Mental Mistakes 52

Reacting Too Quickly

Inflexible Thinking

Wanting Control

Emotional Avoidance and Attraction

Exaggerating the Future

Chasing the Wrong Gratifications

Part Three How to Start Leading Yourself

5. Engage Your Intention 71

Visualize Your Intention

Verbalize Your Intention

6. Follow Through on Your Intentions 90

Write Down Your Intentions

Set Deadlines

Design Tangible Mechanisms

7. Calm Down to Speed Up 107

Get Connected

Let ItHappen

Sit by Your Problem

Relax Your Body

Calm Your Elephant by Acting the Part or Making

a Gentle Request

8. Slow Down to Stop Your Reactions 125

Stop and Think

Stop Interrupting

Detach from Your Emotions and Impulses

Just Say No

Employ Punishment

Part Four Become Aware of Your Inner Resources

9. Get to Know Your Inner Elephant 147

Know Yourself

Solicit Feedback

Take Advantage of a Setback

10. Expand Your Awareness 162

Review the Day

Contemplate Creatively

Part Five Reach for the Heights

11. Sharpen Your Concentration 177

Focus Your Attention

Focus on Means, Not Ends

Slow Down, Look, and Listen

Focus on People

12. Develop Your Witness 192

Turn Inward to Develop Your Witness

Use Radical Self-Inquiry

Who Am I?

13. Reprogram Yourself 209

Repeat a Mantra

Prayer May Help, but Not the Way You Think

14. Mend Your Mind with Meditation 223

Why Meditate?

An Easy Way to Start

Two Essentials

Mindfulness Meditation

Try Visual Rather Than Verbal

Contemplative Meditation

Part Six Can You Lead from a People Frame of Reference?

15. Change Your Frame to See People 243

What is Your Frame?

From Leading Objects to Leading Humans

How to Change Your Frame

16. Change Your Frame to Ask Questions 261

From Answering Questions to Asking Questions

In All Things, Consult

17. Living and Leading from Your Inner Executive 275

Higher Consciousness Revisited

When Her Mind Went Quiet

Answers to Individual Questions

Final Thoughts

Notes 294

About the Author 311

Exercise Index 313

Index 317

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
Richard L. Daft
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown