Sunday, November 01, 2015

Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told To Do Is Wrong By Ira Chaleff Review

Intelligent Disobedience (Front-Cover)
Torture in Abu Ghraib prison. Corporate fraud. Falsified records at Veterans Administration hospitals. Teachers pressured to feed test answers to students. These scandals could have been prevented if, early on, people had said no to their higher-ups. In this timely new book, Ira Chaleff goes deeply into when and how to disobey inappropriate orders, reduce unacceptable risk, and find better ways to achieve legitimate goals.Guide-dog and Intelligent Disobedience

The inspiration for the book, and its title, came from a concept used in guide dog training. Guide dogs must be able to recognize a command that would put their human and themselves at risk, effectively resist the command, and identify safer options for achieving the goal. This is precisely what Chaleff shows humans how to do.

He delves into the psychological dynamics of obedience, drawing in particular on what Stanley Milgram’s seminal Yale experiments—in which volunteers were induced to administer shocks to innocent people—teach us about how to reduce compliance with harmful orders. Using dozens of vivid examples of historical events and everyday situations, Chaleff offers advice on judging whether intelligent disobedience is called for, how to effectively express opposition, and how to create a culture where, rather than “just following orders,” citizens are educated and encouraged to think about whether those orders make sense.

Cassandra's Review- This book although extremely interesting will not capture the attention of my family. I found it to be a bit long winded and dragging. However the information is new to me and the author presents his topics in an easy to understand way.

Ira Chaleff
About Ira Chaleff:

Ira Chaleff is the author of The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders, now in its third edition, and co editor of The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Make Great Leaders and Organizations, part of the Warren Bennis Leadership Series. 

He is the founder of the International Leadership Association’s Followership Learning Community and a member of the ILA board of directors. 

He is a frequent speaker and workshop presenter on Courageous Followership and transforming hierarchical relationships into powerful partnerships. 

Chaleff is founder and president of Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates, which provides coaching, consulting, and facilitation to companies, associations, and agencies. He is adjunct faculty at Georgetown University, where Courageous Followership is part of the core curriculum in its professional management training for staff. Chaleff lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Washington, D.C.

Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told To Do Is Wrong is currently available via Amazon and all major online and brick-and-mortar book retailers in print, ebook, and audiobook formats. Learn more at

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