The Executive and the Elephant: A Leader's Guide for Building Inner Excellence

  • 6h 51m
  • Richard L. Daft
  • John Wiley & Sons (US)
  • 2010

Leaders know what they should be doing, so why aren't they doing it? When a leader knows the preferable behavior, why stick to an old pattern and fail to perform as desired? The answer is that each of us has two selves: one self is thoughtful, circumspect, and rational (the inner executive), and the other self is habit bound, impulsive, and emotion driven (the inner elephant). In this groundbreaking book, leadership expert Richard Daft reveals how leaders can recognize the two parts of themselves and learn to calm down, train, and guide their inner elephant toward the desired successful behavior.

Inner excellence means removing the personal flaw that is holding you back as a leader—such as procrastination, avoiding confrontation, a short attention span, perfectionism, tactless remarks, weak resolve, overreacting, criticizing, chasing the wrong gratifications, or not following though. This important book is filled with lessons for leaders on resolving the inner struggle between impulse and self-discipline, between blind reaction and big picture wisdom. Dozens of proven exercises will empower you to direct yourself and others more productively. With a little practice, your inner executive will learn to choose correct actions rather than let your unwanted behaviors have their way.

Through compelling real-life coaching examples of dramatic personal changes, along with recent findings in psychology, management, neuroscience, and Eastern spirituality, Richard Daft provides guidance to all of us who want to follow our best intentions when leading ourselves and others.

About the Author

Richard L. Daft holds the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Chair in the Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, where he specializes in the study and teaching of leadership. Professor Daft is the author or co-author of thirteen books, including his best selling texts, and dozens of scholarly articles. He has consulted and lectured widely and practices this book's concepts in his work and personal life.

In this Book

  • The Executive And The Elephant—A Leader’s Guide For Building Inner Excellence
  • Preface
  • The Problem of Managing Yourself
  • Recognize Your Two Selves
  • Three Tendencies That Distort Your Reality
  • Every Leader’s Six Mental Mistakes
  • Engage Your Intention
  • Follow Through on Your Intentions
  • Calm Down to Speed Up
  • Slow Down to Stop Your Reactions
  • Get to Know Your Inner Elephant
  • Expand Your Awareness
  • Sharpen Your Concentration
  • Develop Your Witness
  • Reprogram Yourself
  • Mend Your Mind with Meditation
  • Change Your Frame to See People
  • Change Your Frame to Ask Questions
  • Living and Leading from Your Inner Executive
  • Notes