1st Edition

Risky Business Why Leaders Must Develop a Disruptive Mindset

By Linda Henman Copyright 2021
    222 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    222 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    To position an organization for growth, you cannot shy away from disruptive, high-stakes, pivotal decisions about the future.

    So why DO you?

    Why do so many smart leaders cringe when they face disruption?

    Most people think of disruption as negative while some leaders make disruption their goal. Organizational Psychologist Dr. Linda Henman considers both approaches preventable and costly mistakes. The surprising truth about improving anything you do—personally, professionally, publicly, or privately—lies at the intersection of your ability to think abstractly and your willingness to take prudent risks.

    Drawing on a rich trove of original, cutting-edge research and four decades’ worth of consulting, Henman knows what it takes to succeed in the C-suite. She dispels myths by presenting a clear and compelling summary of what she has observed—and in many cases, helped to create. Her in-the-trenches experiences spurred her to arrive at this conclusion: Myths about leadership have blinded us to what leaders really do. Many leaders believe in the concept of creative disruption but remain skeptical about trusting it.

    Jam-packed with big ideas, Risky Business arrives just in time—a rare book that will transform the way you think about risk, change the way you view disruption, and help you understand what you must do to think strategically, to grow dramatically, and to do it quickly. Inspiring and revelatory, filled with story-driven narratives and practical takeaways, Risky Business brings together decades of counterintuitive research to shed light on how you can effect change.

    1: The Disruptive Mindset

    2: Create Disruption or Someone Else Will

    3: Disruption Is Mandatory

    4: The Influence of Conscious and Unconscious Bias on Risk-Taking

    5: Aptitude Always Outranks Experience

    6: Where You Going with That Can of Gas? 

    7: The Truth about What Motivates Us to Change Our Mindsets

    8: Resilience Is an Offensive Weapon

    9: Disruption Traps

    10: Leading Disruption



    Dr. Linda Henman, known as the Decision Catalyst ®, is the founder of Henman Performance Group, a leadership consulting firm located in St. Louis, MO. She helps C-suite leaders make the decisions they must get right and can’t afford to get wrong. In more than 40 years, none of her hundreds of projects has failed. She has worked with more than 80 clients in 13 industries on four continents. Some of her clients include leaders in organizations like Avon, Emerson, Estee Lauder, Kraft, and Tyson Foods. The author first studied decision-making while working on her Ph.D. in 1994. She conducted long-term original research on 138 American prisoners of war (including John McCain) who had survived five or more years of brutal imprisonment. The study, under the direction of the U. S. Navy, uncovered the pivotal decisions the POWs had needed to make to stay resilient—decisions about their beliefs, identities, and life’s purpose. These research findings have guided Linda’s work with executives ever since. Currently, Dr. Henman works predominately with those in the C-suite to help them make decisions on issues like business growth, mergers & acquisitions, and succession planning. (In fact, Linda was one of eight succession-planning experts who worked with John Tyson after his company’s acquisition of International Beef Products—one of the most successful acquisitions of the 21st Century.) Dr. Henman has written or cowritten seven books, including The Merger Mindset: How to Get it Right in the High-Stakes World of Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures. Tough Calls: How to Move Beyond Indecision and Good Intentions Challenge the Ordinary: Why Revolutionary Companies Abandon Conventional Mindsets, Question Long-Held Assumptions, and Kill Their Sacred Cows Landing in the Executive Chair: How to Excel in the Hot Seat The Magnetic Boss: How to Become the Leader No One Wants to Leave She also writes regularly for CEO Magazine and Corporate Compliance Insights. Dr. Henman earned Million Dollar Consultants’ Hall of Fame ® status and holds numerous professional certifications, including Director of Professionalism, a designation given by the National Association of Corporate Directors.

    Motivation is far more complicated that most people realize, but Linda Henman understands its nuances and complexities. In her incisive book, she explains why motivation lives at the heart of innovation — and how to tap that motivation in yourself and your team.

    • Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive, When, and To Sell Is Human

    For more than four decades, my mission has been to help successful people achieve positive changes in their behavior. Yet, I frequently encounter CEOs who simply don't understand how their limiting beliefs are standing in their way.  Based on her original research, Dr. Henman offers specific advice about what executives can do to overcome risk-aversion and grow their businesses.

    • Marshall Goldsmith, the only two-time #1 Leadership Thinker in the world, is the New York Times #1 bestselling author of Triggers, Mojo, and What Got You Here Won't Get You There. 

    Many companies make disruption their goal. Dr. Linda Henman understands why that's a mistake. Her research and mine both indicate disruption doesn't create growth; instead, growth creates disruption. Growth is always hard, but as Henman notes, smart leaders who commit to innovation can make tough decisions in the face of daunting uncertainties. Those who follow her sage advice will develop the mindset that will position them for success.

    • Charlene Li, New York Times bestselling author of The Disruption Mindset, Senior Fellow at Altimeter, a Prophet company.  

    Finally, a psychological explanation for why so many smart people won’t innovate. My research indicates that when we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident, creative, and successful. Dr. Henman adds that we also have a greater capacity for taking prudent risks. This book is chock-full of pragmatic sage advice that will put leaders on the right path.

    • Dr. Tasha Eurich, New York Times best-selling author of Insight and Bankable Leadership