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Book Review: The Power of the Herd by Linda Kohanov

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The Power of the Herd: A Non-predatory Approach to Social Intelligence by Linda Kohanov is an excellent work on the complex mechanics of intuitive leadership skills in practice. The author draws from global history, as well as nature itself. For instance, she explains some of the issues faced by Alexander the Great, as well as the Buddha.

The author explains that the higher you go hierarchically, the more frequently leaders encounter behavioral issues. The book shows how leaders must learn to breath into tension in order to keep emotions under good control. The iterative steps involve feeling the conflict raw, interpreting adverse messages dispassionately, changing behavior in response to the messages received and getting back to normal.

The book explains that leaders in the herd conserve valuable energy for true emergencies. The objective of herd leaders is to learn the herd and intercede at critical juncture points in order to protect the other members from harm either real or perceived.

The author explains how herds are cultivated by managing the complex flight or fight response. This style of overseeing seeks to fight only when absolutely necessary to protect the herd. The leaders encourage a strong affiliation in order to assuage fears and leave survivors feeling content. And so, bonds are solidified with protective social behaviors aimed at preserving social order.

The book arrives at an intuitive model for cultivating experiential wisdom. The steps include engendering commitment, allowing issues to surface and achieve a resolution, observing the feedback from group members and realizing increased motivation as the end product of the group experience and interaction.

The Power of the Herd is an excellent work on the dynamics of group behavior and the leadership skills requisite to managing small groups. Much of the information contained in this book is intuitive. Nonetheless, leaders will recognize the essential elements of leadership skills explained by the author.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.