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The Winner Effect: How Power Affects Your Brain Hardcover – 7 Jun 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408824736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408824733
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Compelling stories combine with cutting-edge science to show why coming first is not the same as being a real winner - engrossing (Oliver James, author of Affluenza)

A compelling, vivid and instructive story of how we are empowered and how we are disempowered and how we succeed and how we fail - I really enjoyed it - a must read (Raymond Tallis)

Fascinating ... he also has an attractive anti-determinism in his approach, because of his belief that our basic behaviour patterns are eminently changeable, not just by events but also, if we try to understand, by ourselves: the approach one would expect from a clinical psychologist (Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times)

His book engagingly relates the nuances of why and how we win, and the pitfalls of getting juiced up on dopamine in extreme success and hungering for adulation and worship (Irish Times)

Fascinating treatise (Richard Fitzpatrick, Irish Examiner)

What does it take to be a winner; to be successful and achieve at an optimal level? Professor Robertson has masterfully synthesized cutting edge social, cognitive, and developmental psychology, as well ?as neuroscience with fascinating stories of notable people in the public eye to answer this question. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written by an international scholar, once you begin reading ?this book it will be difficult to put down. Whatever your profession, this remarkable book will most assuredly resonate with you (John B. Arden PhD, author of Rewire Your Brain)

Book Description

One of the world's most respected neuroscientists, shows how success affects the inner workings of the brain and explores the implications for all of us, in business, on the public stage and in our emotional lives.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure: I am a colleague of Ian Robertson's, and read this book pre-publication.

I thoroughly and completely enjoyed this book, and I learned a lot from it. I think this book will repay anyone who is curious about the 'will to power' we see in human and animal hierarchies. It reveals lots about the differences between the psychological differences between good and bad leaders, and importantly, the mechanisms by which power can be corrupting - especially erosion of empathy. Why does your boss not listen? Find out here!

It is the kind of book any employee with a difficult boss should buy to understand the difficult boss! But the employee should buy it also to gift it to them anonymously;-) However, the insight required by said difficult boss to understand the lessons here might be eroded by too much time in power. Hence, term limits and time limits are a great way to ensure renewal, and to ensure nobody gets too carried away with themselves.

It should be read by anyone interested in the psychology of organisations, and anyone interested in deep-seated psychological mechanisms that play out in situations where one human being has power over others.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent topical work, very interesting and relevant to anyone interested in how the brain works. The numerous references to research carried out in the USA, are mainly due to the fact that funds seem to be readily available there.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As many other books in this genre, this book reports findings of various academic studies that support the 'winner effect'. The two problems of this book are the writing style and lack of a clear, convincing argument.

The use of questions is a good tool, which I also use in my writing, but in this books it's excessive. Paragraphs of open-ended questions do not help the reader to understand the author's point. Or do you think differently? In that case, you might enjoy the style -- or perhaps you won't?

As for the second point: sure, the author makes it clear that real life is complex and there is no single, simple answer to the questions posed, but any intelligent person will be aware of this...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book which I found to be both entertaining and informative. The author, Ian Robertson,explains here why some people reach positions of great influence and power, and what motivates them to do so, whilst others do not.

Brought to life with numerous anecdotes concerning political figures including Blair, Clinton, Napoleon, and Angela Merkel,as well as business and sports figures such as Jeff Skilling, the former boss of Enron, and Tiger Woods, this book looks at how the need for power drives some individuals and on, and the effects that such power can have on them over time.

Although I have read fair number of books about the development of peoples' performance, and about leadership in general there was much here that I found new and fascinating.

Wearing red can actually affect your performance, Oscar winners live on average 4 years longer than other movie stars and Nobel prize winners 2 years longer than their peers who are not recognised in this way. This book explains why, and makes for fascinating reading and discussions.

Highly recommended
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Format: Kindle Edition
Hey how are you doing?

I 'read' this book on Audio book (whilst walking around Kuala Lumpar).

Initially I found the book engaging but quickly got suspicious with single real life examples given and drawing general conclusions from them.
E.g. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair used to be great bummchums and then Tony developed more p-power, developed effects of a 'winner' and that effected their relationship.. etc etc
I felt there were not enough statistics presented to back up individual cases, (to be fair, author at times acknowledges this).

However, I feel overall many of conclusions he made, were sound and seem to confirm my own real life experiences in life. e.g. his theories my experiences in social groups with guys at school and also with women etc.

In Summary:
Author's theories often made good sense - and shaped the way I view life as a human being a little.
Overall, I reckon this one was worth a read... at worse case book provided some very interesting food for thought!

Adios mi Amigos
Ric

P.s. it takes some time writing a review, I have many more I can leave, but only if it's gonna help someone - let me know if you read it. eg like or comment. Thanks
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I haven't read this sort of thing before - but since reading and loving it went on to buy The Hubris Syndrome and will look at more stuff in the same vein. It relates the physical affects power can have on the brain by mixing science with actual examples of people who have seemingly been affected. (Think Stalin, Hitler and even Thatcher, Blair) Although I suspect no-one has had their brain examined for said affects!! I guess you could say it's a hypothesis mostly. But really fascinating stuff.
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Format: Paperback
The book tells us, as an example, that an Oscar winner lives on average 4 years more than an Oscar nominee - what a ridiculous fact. Surely, there are more factors to their longevity than just picking up an Oscar.
The book tells us, as an example, that its a surprise indeed that Pablo Picasso's son was not as talented as his dad was and in many ways was a failure. Now why should that be a surprise. Talent unlike Royalty, cannot be handed down.

The book goes on to make many assumptions which can be just as well arguably negated.

The Winner Effect in a nutshell is telling us that winner's have an ego, and in some cases, have a massive super ego.
Perhaps we didn't need a book with a hodge podge of anecdotal stories to tell us that but picking up any popular magazine or tabloid newspaper could have told us that on any given day.
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