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The Brain Advantage: Become a More Effective Business Leader Using the Latest Brain Research
Madeleine L. Van Hecke, Lisa P. Callahan, Brad Kolar and Ken A. Paller

Retail Price: $19.00
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Format: Paperback, 320pp.
ISBN: 9781591027645
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Pub. Date: November 24, 2009

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Business leaders are in charge. They are in charge of people, of budgets, of production lines. Most leaders also believe that they are in charge of their greatest resource--their own brain.

But how true is that?

The more we understand about how the brain works, the clearer it becomes that often our brain kicks in before we do. For example:

1. The more expert we become, the less we "think."
2. Our brain can con us into being sure that we're right--even when we're wrong.
3. Without consulting us, our brain decides who to trust.

The good news is that leaders can use what researchers have learned about the brain to manage their own brains more effectively. That's the first Brain Advantage. Just as important, leaders can use that knowledge to manage other people more effectively. That's the second Brain Advantage.

The Brain Advantage does for business leaders what few have time to do for themselves. It combines the latest brain research with insights from psychological studies of how people think. It uses powerful stories to convey that information, and presents it in short, readable chapters.

Each chapter is divided into three parts:
  • "What's the story?" reports in concise, digestible terms the science behind how the brain works.
  • "Interesting, but so what?" discusses how this research is relevant to business leadership today.
  • "What if ..." illustrates what leaders might do differently if they were truly to lead with the brain in mind.
The Brain Advantage shows leaders how to become even more effective decision-makers, communicators, and change-agents.


"There has been so much on the brain and how it affects our behavior. Finally, here's a book that gives a one-two punch - a quick 'so what' on brain research and a set of actions that produce better leaders. Well done!"
—Craig Wortmann, CEO, Experience LLC. Adjunct Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Craigwortmann.com

"The Brain Advantage pulls together current science and contemporary thinking about brain function and then in a very practical way applies it to critical leadership skills and challenges faced by business leaders today. It covers territory that is familiar to most leaders but with an approach that offers new insights and, at times, challenges old ways of thinking. I will be referencing this source again and again as we continue to develop the 600+ leaders in our organization."
—Michael C. Riordan, President and CEO, Greenville Hospital System, Greenville, South Carolina

The Brain Advantage translates research on our brains into specific, usable ideas that all leaders can benefit from. Reading this book will change the way you think about what you do for a living.
—Sydney Finkelstein is a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and the author of the bestsellers Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions, and Why Smart Executives Fail

"A very ambitious book, highly readable and entertaining, showing how the latest findings in neuropsychology are relevant to effective management."
—Gary Klein, Ph.D., Applied Research Associates, author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions

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About the Authors

Madeleine L. Van Hecke, PhD (Elmhurst, IL), is a licensed clinical psychologist; a former Professor of Psychology at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois; and a lecturer and workshop leader for Open Arms Seminars. She is the author of Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things.

Lisa P. Callahan (Bartlett, IL) is the global lead for learning and knowledge management for the outsourcing practice at Accenture. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company.

Brad Kolar (Naperville, IL) is the president of Kolar Associates, a management and leadership consulting company.

Ken A. Paller, PhD (Evanston, IL), works as a cognitive neuroscientist at Northwestern University. He is also a Fellow of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, a Professor of Psychology, and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Program at the university.

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