Book Review: Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior (Plus win a copy!)

July 8, 2008          Comments (0)

I was lucky enough to get a copy of Ori and Rom Brafman’s Sway which is on the New York Times Bestseller list. Why do perfectly rational people make irrational decisions?

Well, that’s exactly why I found this book so fascinating because it’s all about the hidden psychological influences that disrupt our ability to make good decisions which is so critical in life (and business).

Did you ever wonder why it’s so difficult to sell a plummeting stock or end a doomed relationship?

Why do we listen to advice just because it came from someone “important”? Why are we more likely to fall in love when there’s danger involved?

In Sway, all of these questions are answered and more.

This book reveals the many dynamic forces that influence our personal and business lives, including loss aversion (our tendency to go to great lengths to avoid perceived losses), the diagnosis bias (our inability to reevaluate our initial diagnosis of a person or situation), and the “chameleon effect” (our tendency to take on characteristics that have been assigned to us).

Sway introduces you to the Harvard Business School professor who convinced his students to pay more than $200 for a $20 bill, the head of airline safety whose disregard for his years of training led to the transformation of an entire industry, and the football coach who turned conventional strategy on its head to lead his team to victory.

You’ll also learn the curse of the NBA draft, discover why interviews are a terrible way to gauge future job performance, and go inside a session with the Supreme Court to see how the world’s most powerful justices avoid the dangers of group dynamics.

Should I buy this book Adam?

Yes! Without a question. It’s a really interesting and fun book and makes for a perfect beach or pool side read. If you like books like Blink and Freakonomics you’ll love this book!

How can I win a copy of this book?

Email me at GuruGilbert [at] yahoo [dot] com and tell me 3 reasons why you want this book. Last time I did a give away it was pretty cut and dry. But since this book is all about irrational decisions and why we make them, I figure this will be more fun. Please put ‘Book give away’ as the subject of the email. Deadline is midnight on Monday the 14th.

Go work your magic and I’ll post an update below as to who the winner is and there 3 reasons.

[Update: The winner is Gary from Chicago. The main reason why I chose him is because he told me recently that he ‘never, ever, reads blogs’ and he is also a client of mine. So I was quite surprised when I got an email from him. I’m sorry to all of you who emailed me some great answers and reasons. Gary’s answers were quite simple:

1. This is the first blog I have ever read. I must say I’ve become a regular reader of your blog and really enjoy it!

2. You, your company and your program rock. And as you know, I’ve referred over 10 people to your business.

3. I have never won anything before. So as you say, “Make it happen” for me!

How can I resist guys? I told you this was an irrational contest. The next one will be a lot more cut and dry. Promise.]



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