Think Leadership Ideas

Leverage Automatic Behavior

Leadership Momentum... session 7

A fundamental paradox of effective leadership is getting people to pursue excellence without thinking about it, eliciting top performance on “autopilot.”

Most people have had the experience of driving and arriving at a destination without remembering the trip. Much of human thinking and behavior is unconscious, essentially on “automatic pilot.” Expert marketers, politicians, and stage magicians are known for how they use unconscious “default” behavior to exert influence in what people think, perceive, and choose. Savvy leaders do well to adopt the same influence tools.

There can indeed be a fine line between manipulating and tricking people on the one hand, and nudging and influencing with integrity and transparency on the other. But as Thaler and Sunstein note in their book, Nudge, rarely is there a “neutral” option in choices and decisions. Leaders will invariably find themselves to be choice architects, influencing others whether they want to or not.

Listen to hear seven ways that leaders can consciously influence unconscious “automatic” behavior...

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