My last blog on must-reads from my Leadership Book Club generated interest and some good recommendations. Here are two more excellent books that I have found myself recommending since I read them earlier in the year. Both explore human behaviour and decision-making, and challenge us to rethink how we operate as individuals and as leaders.
Collective Illusions: Conformity, Complicity, and the Science of Why We Make Bad Decisions, Todd Rose (2022)
I am always interested in books that draw on new understandings of neuroscience, and this book reminds us that we can’t always trust our brain! For sound evolutionary reasons, we want to fit in, and yet there are consequences to this, including continually acting outside our best interests.
A ‘Collective Illusion’ is a social lie. Collective Illusions happens when the majority in the group reject the idea but go along with it because they (wrongly) believe that other people accept it. Think ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’.
If you lead a team or an organisation, this is a valuable book to understand what happens with social conformity, and how to avoid these traps. If you are not a leader, this book can help you be a better human!
Complicit: How We Enable the Unethical and How to Stop, Max H. Bazerman (2022)
This book shocked and frightened me, which is one of the reasons why I recommend reading it. Some of the case studies read like the plot from a movie…. Except all are true.
We can easily identify key wrongdoers in major scandals, but how did they get away with it for so long? The key (and confronting) premise of this book is that we are complicit in the ‘bad’ behaviour of others.
The book outlines behavioral profiles that can lead to complicity. Eek I have committed some of them, which is his point… Bazerman includes examples of his own complicity throughout the book. Thankfully he also provides solutions.
Read this if you are ready for an ethical step up. Especially read it if you don’t think you need it!
If you are reading something that relates to leadership, and think it’s worth recommending, please let me know.
Go Fearlessly – Corrinne
PS I have just begun listening to the audio book of The Fear-Fighter Manual: Lessons from a Professional Troublemake by Luvvie Ajayi Jones and loving it so far. This might be one that triggers a future post.