Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Published by
Simon & Schuster (2014-08)
Original language
Political economy


What The Best Leaders See

by Bazerman, Max

What if you could broaden the bounds of natural awareness? Imagine your advantage in negotiations, decision-making, and leadership if you could teach yourself to see, and judge, information others routinely fail to notice.

The Power of Noticing provides the blueprint for accomplishing precisely that. Max Bazerman, a giant in the field of applied behavioral psychology, draws on three decades of research and his experience instructing Harvard Business School MBAs and corporate executives to teach you how to spy and act on information that others miss.

Drawing on a wealth of examples—the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the rigging of Libor, J.P. Morgan Chase’s infamous “London Whale” scandal to name just a sampling—Bazerman diagnoses what information went ignored, and why. Using many of the same case studies and thought experiments designed in his executive MBA classes, he challenges readers to explore their cognitive blind spots, first experiencing their failures to notice and then unpacking the steps you can take to spy the salient details missed.

Bazerman provides a blueprint you can follow to short circuiting the habits that lead to poor decisions and ineffective leadership, including:

1) Invent the third choice. Very often we are presented with set choices to choose from. Learning to invent a choice not presented can immediately open up new strategic outcomes and leadership opportunities.

2) What you see is NOT all there is. Again and again our leaders fail to think about data that is outside their focus. From inviting unconventional attendees to a meeting to role playing different perspectives, there are ways to ask and answer, What information, were it available, would fundamentally change your conclusion?

3) Acknowledge self-interest. We all are invested in certain outcomes, but those biases can blind us to the best possible outcome. There are many ways industries, companies, and individuals can force their self-interest into focus and thereby blunt its influence on outcomes. Few are more effective than the old adage: put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

4) Pay attention to what didn’t happen. When applied, this skill comes close to arming you with second sight. Often it points to the blinders worn by colleagues or competitors.

5) Learn to spy misdirection, best identified by applying another old adage: if it is too good to be true, it likely is. Max Bazerman is the Straus Professor at the Harvard Business School and the author of numerous books on behavioral psychology, including Negotiation Genius with Deepak Malhotra, Blind Spots with Ann E. Tenbrunsel, and Negotiating Rationally. He is an executive committee member at the Harvard Program on Negotiation and a founding partner of Think! Inc a consulting firm that specializes in business negotiation. He speaks and teaches internationally, is frequently quoted in The New York Times, and is a member of the editorial boards of American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Management and Governance, Mind and Society, Negotiations and Conflict Management Research, Psychological and Personality Science, and The Journal of Behavioral Finance.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Sebastian Ritscher

Available View on Rightsdesk


Max Bazerman is one of the most creative, brilliant, and constructive social scientists on the planet. His new book, on the importance and power of noticing, is a game-changer. Notice it!

Quote: Cass Sunstein

Important new ideas are rare in discussions of flaws of executive performance, but Bazerman has one. In a compellingly readable book he illustrates the consequences of failing to notice signs of impending disaster, and he teaches executives how to practice vigilance.

Quote: Daniel Kahneman

Books on leadership seem too numerous to count. But, occasionally, one contributes something to the field that is truly important and genuinely new. With its lucid description of the rarified—but learnable—skill of noticing correctly, this book is undeniably one.

Quote: Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence

Harvard Business School professor Bazerman (Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do About It, 2012, etc.) unspools the many benefits of widening our areas of focus, particularly when it comes to decision-making matters.

Review: Kirkus

China: Cheers Holland: BIM Media Russia: Azbooka Taiwan: Linking

Quote: Client

This lively title isn’t likely to make anyone change his or her behavior, but it sheds light on our troubling tendency to see only what’s in front of our noses.

Review: Publishers Weekly

The Power of Noticing makes you better at anything and everything you do – whether in business, law, sports, politics, education, art, medicine, or any other field. Max Bazerman offers not only a lively and engaging book but a challenge and roadmap to live, see, and work with more honesty, vision, and purpose. By resisting the conventional “how-to” tip list, in favor of creating a more powerfully elevated consciousness, this book satisfies the deepest human need for finding the elusive truths that are the keys to success.

Quote: Billy Shore

Many books promise to change the way you see the world – this fascinating, provocative tour into the mind and research of one of the world’s preeminent noticers actually lives up to the claim.

Quote: Michael Norton

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