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This is the official Perth blog site for posts, comments, and other contributions about leadership, behavioral finance and economics, and about management generally, as well as other related topics that take our fancy.

Labor still beats capital in leadership development


As is my wont I was recently idly surfing the net checking out stuff about leadership. I ran across the latest issue of Entrepreneur magazine , a very good publication I am sure. Here were its three top headlines on the leadership page: 3 Tough Habits You Must Drop to Succeed 9 Things Managers Do That Make Good Employees Quit 22 Qualities That Make...
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Could you purposely redesign your personality with a pill?


Another apparently useless piece of information, courtesy of researchers at the University of Virginia and the University of Massachusetts medical School. It looks like particular chemicals in your immune system cause you to be social . Specifically it’s a molecule called gamma interferon. Who would have thunk it? For some reason, the immune system...
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The Difference between Agile and Supple Leadership


So where did I get “supple leadership” from? I made it up of course! Actually I was reflecting on the now widespread use of the term “agile leadership”. It’s in use by many companies and there are even assessments for it now such as one from Korn/Ferry . Even I have been guilty of using the term (see my post “ Can Behavioral Agility Be Learned? ”) ...
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A Turing Test for Leadership?


Did you notice that the next Apple developer’s conference will focus on Siri ? Meanwhile the digital assistants’ wars have heated up with Google Assistant , Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa . These all aim to create a human-like assistant that can interact through voice. Nor are these the only entries. We also have Watson from IBM, NELL from ...
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Would Trump be a Billionaire without his Inheritance?


Is this the elephant in the room? Trump's frequent allusions to his vast wealth and to how smart he is sounds awfully like the rich son who inherited it all but wants to convince everyone else – and himself – that really he did it all himself. So I thought I would do an analysis of this question. I think I’m well qualified to do that. For the past ...
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An Inconvenient Truth - Alpha Financial Styles Beget Ginormous Returns


Apologies to Al Gore for another inconvenient truth. There’s been a lot of talk about alpha these days, but not just about investments. Trump, Putin - alpha is definitely in vogue. As in alpha male. Like Tarzan. Does that tell us something about the investing world? Yep it does. Check out my book The Three Financial Styles of Very Successful Leader...
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Behavioral M&A – Yahoo Needed It But Too Late Now


So what’s behavioral M&A anyhows? See here for the skinny , will tell you more below. When Marissa Mayer was appointed CEO I predicted she would fail. Right on the money (“ Yahoo – Product Bling 1, Business Acumen 0 ”). Was the problem Ms. Mayer or something else? How about the 70 or so acquisitions she made? They cost around $4 billion; it’s n...
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“The Big Short” – The Real Problem with Ratings


Did you see “The Big Short”? I’m sure Bernie Sanders is having a field day, his ticket to the big job he thinks. It’s worth seeing if only to reveal the zeitgeist in 2007, a fin de siècle moment. Naturally it paints the banks and the ratings companies in the darkest of colors. So what went wrong with the mortgage bonds and such-like? The film sugge...
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Behavioral Economics & Finance Need a Killer App (ahem)


So if you look at my LinkedIn profile you’ll see that I am billed (inter alia) as a thought leader in behavioral finance. So why would I be casting aspersions on my chosen field? A while back I was discussing behavioral economics and finance with a very senior executive (British btw) for strategy and innovation in a well-known and respected global ...
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Can we create irrational AI?


Did you notice that an AI program from Google just beat a top human player at Go ? It’s a big deal; the chess problem was solved years ago but Go was still a challenge. So now that problem has fallen, AI has got to go to the next step. What will that be I wonder? The problem is getting more difficult as we come to understand that humans aren’t the ...
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Mother Knows Best – Leadership is Innate in Women, Learned In Men


Did you see that Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, just got Time’s Person of the Year ? She’s the only Western leader who can deal with Putin. She’s really the leader of “united” Europe which has the combined heft of the US. So she certainly deserves it. Definitely in the same class as Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir. Outshines any of the other Eu...
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Tinderizing Leadership


I guess you’ve heard of Tinder ? New Age dating app: see photo, swipe left for reject, right to accept. You’re on. Major sensation amongst singles. Tinder recently announced big news . In future it will have a special space to list your job and education. Yep, never had it before. I guess that’s why it has had the reputation of being a hookup site ...
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Do personality tests work?

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Personality tests have been around since the beginning of the 20 th century. They are part of the routine for HR organizations everywhere, especially for pre-employment testing. But do they work? Raising this question might appear to be heresy. But remember, the whole theory behind them dates from psychoanalytic and early psychological theory. We k...
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Will Putin Nuke? The Psychomarkers of Leaders for War and Peace

So Russia just conducted a nuclear test, how could that be interpreted other than a warlike act? If you are into leadership one good distinction to make is between the leaders you need for war and those you need for peace. The Mafia knew (knows?) all about it and I get my information on impeccable authority from the epic novel “The Godfather”. That...
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Can Siri Become a Great Leader? – The Coming Out of Synthetic Psychology

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