Featured Business Author

Featured Author: John Coates

Book Cover Image. Title: The Hour between Dog and Wolf:  Risk Taking, Gut Feelings, and the Biology of Boom and Bust, Author: John Coates

The Hour between Dog and Wolf

John Coates

John Coates is a senior research fellow in neuroscience and finance at the University of Cambridge. He previously worked for Goldman Sachs and ran a trading desk for Deutsche Bank in New York. In 2004 he returned to Cambridge to research the biology of financial risk taking. His new book, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, explores those findings. See Coates's recommendations below for more on the linkages between stress and risk taking in sports, warfare, and the trenches of Wall Street. 

Book Cover Image. Title: The Game, Author: Ken Dryden

The Game

Ken Dryden

Economics and business studies have for too long assumed that our risk taking decisions are a purely cognitive activity, a matter of mind alone. But science does not support such a view. Body and brain evolved together and they act together when we take risks. This fusion of body and brain provides us with the fast reactions and gut feelings we need to survive in a fast-paced and brutal world. Once you start seeing your risk taking behaviour as the product of both body and brain, you see that risk taking in business involves very similar biological systems to those relied on in sports and war. For that reason I think books by athletes and soldiers can often throw light into the dark corners of business life. One of these is The Game by Ken Dryden, a legendary goalie in hockey who took his team, the Montreal Canadiens, to six Stanley Cups.
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Book Cover Image. Title: All Quiet on the Western Front, Author: Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front

Erich Maria RemarqueArthur Wesley Wheen

For flashes of insight into how the preconscious brain can keep us alive even in a modern theatre of war, see All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.
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Book Cover Image. Title: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, Author: Robert M. Sapolsky

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

Robert M. Sapolsky

Our physiology can sometimes go awry, especially in the workplace. The stress response, a body-wide response to an emergency, seems fatally dysfunctional. Long term functions of the body, such as digestion, reproduction, growth, and immune function are suppressed -- they are metabolically expensive -- and energy stores in liver, muscle, and fat cell are flushed into the blood for immediate use. Wonderfully useful when facing down a grizzly; tragically toxic when sitting in the office. One of the best books on stress is Robert Sapolsky's Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers.
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Book Cover Image. Title: The End of Stress As We Know It, Author: Bruce McEwen

The End of Stress As We Know It

Bruce McEwenElizabeth Norton LasleyRobert Sopolsky

This is a review of stress research by a renowned neuroscientist who has done so much to explain how stress can impair decision making and, worse, damage the brain.
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Book Cover Image. Title: Healthy Work:  Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life, Author: Robert Karasek

Healthy Work

Robert KarasekTores Theorell

A path-breaking book on uncertainty and uncontrollability in the workplace and their effects on the health of workers.
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Book Cover Image. Title: In Sickness and in Power:  Illnesses in Heads of Government during the Last 100 Years, Author: David Owen

In Sickness and in Power

David Owen

An original account of irrational exuberance and clinical conditions in political leaders, written by a senior British politician who also happens to be a trained neurologist.
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