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From Smart to Wise: Acting and Leading with Wisdom
Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou

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Format: Hardcover, 272pp.
ISBN: 9781118296202
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: March 18, 201

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Smart people impress us with their intellectual power and uncanny ability to achieve their goals. But smartness alone is not always sufficient to keep leaders out of trouble and sustain their success over time. In From Smart to Wise, CEO advisor and coach Prasad Kaipa and strategy consultant Navi Radjou propose a different and counterintuitive approach to leadership that goes beyond optimizing "smartness."

Wise leadership, the authors argue, means cultivating a broader perspective and responding to external events with discernment, flexibility, and authenticity. It's the foundation for lasting success.

Kaipa and Radjou identify six capabilities that all leaders, both smart and wise, share—perspective, action orientation, role clarity, decision logic, fortitude, and motivation. Wise leaders optimize those capabilities, becoming better able to:
  • switch from a narrow focus on operation or strategy to a more holistic perspective;
  • act both authentically and appropriately in any context;
  • know when to lead from the front and when to step back and let others lead;
  • make intuitive decisions that are both ethically sound and utterly pragmatic;
  • show true courage under fire, knowing when to hold and when to fold;
  • act consistently out of enlightened self-interest, creating value for both shareholders and society.
From Smart to Wise offers a practical framework—and personalized tools—for you to operate consciously as a wise leader every day.

Based on Kaipa and Radjou's extensive research and consulting experience over twenty years, From Smart to Wise draws on real-life stories of leaders such as Alan Mulally (CEO, Ford), Sam Palmisano (former CEO, IBM), Bill Gates, Indra Nooyi (CEO, PepsiCo), Ratan Tata (former chairman, Tata Group), John Mackey (co-CEO, Whole Foods), and Tim Cook (CEO, Apple). Filled with thought-provoking advice and insight, From Smart to Wise will help leaders at all levels nurture a resilient and balanced leadership style that is essential to succeed in our complex world.


"From Smart to Wise teaches the importance of working together and shows that everyone can contribute to making the world a better place."
—Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company

"We are entering a new era of 'conscious capitalism' in which enlightened organizations will strive to serve a higher purpose that transcends profit maximization. This thought-provoking book proposes pragmatic pathways for smart leaders to become wise leaders who will run the conscious businesses of tomorrow."
—John Mackey, co-CEO and cofounder, Whole Foods Market

"An invaluable guide to negotiating leadership in a world that expects both reflection and decisive action from the C-suite. This enjoyable book reminds us that leadership success requires continual communication, motivation, and connection to a meaningful purpose."
—Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer, GE

"Leaders can't rely on smartness alone to solve the complex issues and paradoxes they face today. This seminal book shows how leaders across sectors can cultivate practical wisdom and use it to create sustainable value for all stakeholders."
—Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, the World Economic Forum

"In a leadership landscape of greater volatility, uncertainty, and public attention, the wisdom conveyed by Kaipa and Radjou in From Smart to Wise will prove invaluable for any executive seeking lasting impact and fulfillment."
—Dominic Barton, global managing director, McKinsey & Company

"Few developments for leadership are more important in today's world than learning how to blend eastern wisdom traditions with western pragmatism. From Smart to Wise is an immensely practical guide for those who are serious about their development as leaders."
—Peter Senge, founding chair, Society for Organizational Learning; New York Times best-selling author, The Fifth Discipline

"Kaipa and Radjou remind us that at the top of the intelligence hierarchy isn't the individual genius but the genius maker who has the wisdom to lead for the common good and evoke the best in others. The path from smart to wise should be the aspiration of all who lead in the knowledge economy."
—Liz Wiseman, Wall Street Journal best-selling author, Multipliers

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About the Authors

Prasad Kaipa, PhD, is a Silicon Valley– based CEO advisor and coach. He was the founding executive director of the Centre for Leadership, Innovation, and Change at the Indian School of Business and a Richardson Fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership between 2010 and 2011. Navi Radjou is a Silicon Valley–based strategy consultant, a World Economic Forum faculty member, and a Fellow at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He is also the coauthor of acclaimed Jugaad Innovation

Table of Contents

1Wise Leaders Wanted1
2Shift Your Perspective: Connect to Your Noble Purpose29
3Be Aware of Your Action Orientation: Act Authentically and Appropriately61
4Gain Role Clarity: Lead from Any Position85
5Clarify Your Decision Logic: Decide with Discernment113
6Develop Flexible Fortitude: Know When to Hold and When to Fold139
7Discover Drivers of Your Motivation: Act with Enlightened Self-Interest155
8Cocreate a Field of Wise Leadership: Find Your Wisdom Logic177
About the Authors235

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