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Palgrave Macmillan

The Proactive Leader

How To Overcome Procrastination And Be A Bold Decision-Maker

ISBN 9781137290267
Publication Date July 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Why do leaders delay decisions? Are they aware of their own tendency to procrastinate? Are they able and willing to prevent it? This engaging and thought-provoking book provides insights and tools to identify the psychological and situational factors that cause leader procrastination. Gathering these insights will help you to become more aware of the negative consequences that procrastination may lead to and to become skilled in using this knowledge to become a more effective leader.

The delaying of decisions is something we are all familiar with: from simply postponing your annual appraisal review to the side-lining of strategic plans and visions that were launched with such enthusiasm at the beginning of the year. For many of us, some forms of procrastination are acceptable – or at least help to make things manageable. Many leaders have problems exerting influence in the right ways and are uncertain about the 'how' of leadership decisions. In fact, it has recently become clear that one of the more prominent and contemporary leadership problems is the fact that leaders avoid making significant decisions. In other words, leaders nowadays have become major procrastinators

De Cremer uses the most innovative and recent scientific insights to explain the causes of procrastination and why this behaviour poses such a significant threat to any type of leader wanting to promote trust and efficiency within the company. Using case studies of well know leaders, he explores decisions they have made and actions they have taken to show where procrastination and inaction has caused failure, and what can be learnt from these examples. Full of practical checklists and tools, this book explains why people delay decisions, and how to manage this behavior in yourself and your teams.

David de Cremer is Professor of Management at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS; Shanghai) and a Visiting Professor at London Business School, UK. Before joining CEIBS, he was a Professor of Behavioural Business Ethics at Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University), the Scientific Director of the Erasmus Centre of Behavioural Ethics and an elected member of the Young Academy of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of many scientific awards including the British Psychology Society award for 'Outstanding PhD thesis in social psychology', the 'Jos Jaspars Early Career award for outstanding contributions to social psychology', the 'Comenius European Young Psychologist award', and the 'International Society for Justice Research Early Career Contribution Award'. He has published extensively in the fields of psychology, behavioral economics, management and organizational behavior, edited five books on the topics 'Social Psychology and Economics', 'Advances in the psychology of justice and affect', 'Psychological perspectives on ethical behaviour and decision making', 'Social psychology and organizations', and 'Behavioral business ethics: Shaping an emerging field' and written a popular book on When good people do bad things: Illustrating the psychology behind the financial crisis. His recent work has been discussed in Scientific American, Bloomberg News, The Economist and The Financial Times. He is also a regular contributor of opinion pieces to several European financial and economic newspapers and magazines and in 2009-2010 he was named the most influential economist in the Netherlands. De Cremer holds a PhD from the University of Southampton in social sciences, UK, and an M.A. in Social Psychology from the University of Leuven, Belgium.

1. Introduction
2. The Psychology of the Leader
3. The Psychology of the Situation
4. Culture, Global Leadership and Procrastination
5. The Consequences of Delaying Decisions
6. Leadership Perceptions and Procrastination
7. An Interactive Model
8. What to do?
9. The 'Leadership on Hold' - Survey


'…his contention that 'Procrastination is irrational!' and then that it's a growing problem amongst today's leaders has rarely been so powerfully put…[and] whether the problem is new or not, the strength of this book is in its delving deep into its psychological causes, based on recent scientific insights, to explain the why of procrastination.' - Developing Leaders
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