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Watching Wise Leaders Deal with Complexity

In a survey conducted by IBM in 2010 with more than 1,500 CEOs worldwide, 80% of leaders anticipated greater complexity in the future, but fewer than half of them felt confident to deal with that complexity.

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Leaders tend to obstinately stick to the leadership style that brought them most success in the past, usually one of two extreme styles: functional leadership that focuses on operational excellence or smart leadership that focuses on growth. When a leader’s focus is too functional, the organization becomes introverted and can focus too much on bottom-line profitability while missing out on top-line growth opportunities. But when leaders focus too much on smart leadership, the organization may experience quick growth but lose its effectiveness quickly.

From Smart to Wise offers a new approach that balances the two styles to achieve a form of wise leadership that is both functional and smart. Drawing on inspiring real-life stories of historical and contemporary wise leaders such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and even Mahatma Gandhi, the authors identify six characteristics of wise leaders and offer a practical framework to help readers develop their own style of wise leadership.

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Praise for the BookSee All Praise >

From Smart to Wise teaches the importance of working together and shows that everyone can contribute to making the world a better place.”

Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company

We are entering a new era of ‘conscious capitalism’ in which enlightened organizations will strive to serve a higher purpose that transcends profit maximization. This thought-provoking book proposes pragmatic pathways for smart leaders to become wise leaders who will run the conscious business of tomorrow.”

John Mackey, co-CEO and co-founder, Whole Foods Market

An invaluable guide to negotiating leadership in a world that expects both reflection and decisive action from the C-suite. This enjoyable book reminds us that leadership success requires continual communication, motivation, and connection to a meaningful purpose.”

Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer, General Electric

Leaders can't rely on smartness alone to solve the complex issues and paradoxes they face today. This seminal book shows how leaders across sectors can cultivate practical wisdom and use it to create sustainable value for all stakeholders.”

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, the World Economic Forum

In a leadership landscape of greater volatility, uncertainty and public attention, the wisdom conveyed by Kaipa and Radjou in From Smart to Wise will prove invaluable for any executive seeking lasting impact and fulfillment.”

Dominic Baron, global managing director, McKinsey & Company

Few developments for leadership are more important in today's world than learning how to blend eastern wisdom tradition with western pragmatism. From Smart to Wise is an immensely practical guide for those who are serious about their development as leaders”

Peter Senge, founding chair, Society for Organization Learning; New York Times bestselling author, The Fifth Discipline

With examples from today's best leaders, Kaipa and Radjou have created a practical guide for accelerating your own wise leadership development, a true competitive advantage in today's rapidly changing world. We can all benefit from the self-reflection that From Smart to Wise encourages. By defining our unique ‘noble purpose,’ we can bring about meaningful change and progress in our companies, communities, and society.”

Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO, PepsiCo, Inc.

Developing wisdom can turn a long and arduous trip into a compelling, sustainable, and inspiring leadership journey. Read this fascinating book and let it teach you the tools you'll need to go from smart to wise!”

Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times best-selling author, MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

From Smart to Wise is a practical and powerful book that reminds us of the ultimate destination of our leadership journeys: wisdom earned through experience and shared in service of others. Even better, Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou offer a step-by-step road map for getting there, complete with real-world examples sure to inspire and challenge us along the way.”

John R. Ryan, president and CEO, Center for Creative Leadership

This extraordinary book takes the intangible concept of wisdom and brings it to life, giving it context and ways for us to practice wise leadership in our daily lives. Kaipa and Radjou show us how to connect with other leaders in today's interdependent world to cocreate a field of wise leadership. You must read From Smart to Wise. It is a journey worth taking.”

Cynthia Cherrey, president, the International Leadership Association; vice president, Princeton University

Getting from smart to wise is the most important leadership challenge of the 21st century. Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou offer a guidebook to this transformation, one that any leader will find of great use.”

Daniel Goleman, New York Times Bestselling author, Emotional Intelligence

From Smart to Wise is a good example of what it talks about. It is wise, clear, and grounded in real experience. It reminds us that our humanity is the key to success in business, and also that a purpose greater than profit is needed to create a world that is fulfilling as well as productive.”

Peter Block, author, Stewardship and Abundant Community

Kaipa and Radjou remind us that at the top of the intelligence hierarchy isn't the individual genius, but the genius maker who has the wisdom to lead for the common good and evoke the best in others. The path from smart to wise should be the aspiration of all who lead in the knowledge economy.”

Liz Wiseman, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Multipliers

From Smart to Wise is a very timely and unique book. Kaipa and Radjou offer us a pathway to evolve from behaving smartly to acting and leading wisely, extending benefits of wise leadership not only to ourselves and our companies but also to our societies.”

Jeff Smith, CEO and cofounder, LUNAR Design

From Smart to Wise is the book managers from all walks of life and in all institutions ought to read. Kaipa and Radjou credibly and convincingly make the point that smartness is no longer sufficient to be sustainably successful today and provide those interested in becoming wise leaders with a useful road map.”

Dr. Klaus M. Leisinger, chairman, Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development.

Ordinary organizations become extraordinary organizations when some wise leaders embrace the collective good and invite others to do the same. From Smart to Wise is a magnificent book about how to become a person of wisdom and influence.”

Robert E. Quinn, professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; author, Deep Change

Kaipa and Radjou have spent most of their lives bringing the wisdom traditions to bear on the art of business. From Smart to Wise offers depth, context, and timeless tools to lift the mechanical into the noble, marrying the practical and the compassionate–a rare, effective, uplifting companion.”

Mark Nepo, best-selling author, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen and The Book of Awakening

From Smart to Wise is a game changer! Read it to find how to apply practical wisdom in your business. Use the framework in this book to create your own wise leadership road map–and you can become a highly effective leader like Warren Buffett, Ratan Tata, and Alan Mulally.”

Professor Theodore R. Malloch, Yale University; director, The Academy of Business in Society; and author, Doing Virtuous Business

"Radjou and Kaipa provide ample examples of how being smart only isn't enough any more to succeed -- you also need to understand AND CONNECT WITH your authentic self SO YOU BECOME the best wise leader that you can be. The roadmap to wisdom lies within this book -- you would be smart to read it, and wise to embark on that journey."

Charlene Li, New York Times bestselling author, Open Leadership, and Founder of Altimeter Group

“From Smart To Wise clarifies how the cultivation of awareness and wisdom can make a game-changing difference in leaders and their organizations. Kaipa and Radjou provide practical guidance for leaders who want to become the best kind of people for themselves and for the transformation of their organizations and communities. This is a great book, in its widest scope of insights as well as in the practical path it maps toward enriching change.”

Lawrence E. Sullivan, President and CEO, Fetzer Institute

“In From Smart to Wise, the authors give you the path towards sustainable and durable leadership. This could be the roadmap for all leaders in a world that is more socially aware and conscious.”

KRIS GOPALAKRISHNAN, co-chairman, Infosys Technologies

"Kaipa and Navi wrote a practical guide to wise leadership. It provides an insight into one's own nature to understand the kind of leader one becomes. They draw upon their own studies of  traditional Indian philosophy as well as examples of leaders around the world, to convince the reader that with a little introspection and application one can be a wise leader."

Usha Thorat, Retd. Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India and CEO CAFRAL

“Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou's collaborative work From Smart to Wise is a compelling narration with practical insights that makes it “a must read” for the new generation of aspiring smart leaders in the age of innovation.”


“Knowledge is what you know you know—it can be taught. Intuition is what you do not know you know—it has to be learned. When knowledge and intuition combine, you get wisdom. Navi and Prasad take you on this mysterious journey with great lucidity.”

R.GOPALAKRISHNAN, director, Tata Sons Limited

Media MentionsSee All Media Mentions >
By Prasad Kaipa
Small Biz Daily, July 18, 2013
By Alokananda Chakraborty
Business Standard, July 11, 2013
By Prasad Kaipa, Navi Radjou and Sarwath Khizrana
Forbes India, July 10, 2013
By Minda Zetlin
Inc., July 3, 2013
By Prasad Kaipa
Upstart Business Journal, June 21, 2013
By Tim Leberecht
Fortune, June 20, 2013
By Erica Dhawan
Huffington Post, June 14, 2013
By Prasad Kaipa
Big Think June 14, 2013
By Schumpeter
Economist, June 8, 2013
By Chanpreet Khurana
LiveMint/The Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2013
By Heather Somerville
Mercury News, May 17, 2013
Book review
IEDP, May 17, 2013
By Erik Sherman
Inc., May 2, 2013
By Prasad Kaipa and John Edson
Fortune, April 25, 2013
By Sarwath Khizrana
Ivey Business Journal, March / April 2013
By Martin Zwilling
Forbes, March 30, 2013
By Sonja Carberry
Investor's Business Daily, March 28, 2013
Fetzer Institute, March 12, 2013
By Patricia Gale
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 12, 2013
By Russ Volckmann
Integral Leadership Review, March 2013
Harvard Business Review, February 5, 2013
By Prasad Kaipa and John Edson
Fortune, April 25, 2013
Leading Effectively
Center for Creative Leadership, March 2013
HITC Business, April 15, 2013
By Alvin Lee
The Jakarta Post, November 10, 2012
By Meera Shenoy
Harvard Business Review, September 10, 2012
Harvard Business Review, July 2, 2012
Harvard Business Review, January 18, 2012
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