Acumen Presents: Al Pittampalli on Open-Mindedness
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Acumen Presents: Al Pittampalli on Open-Mindedness

Gain the power of persuadable leadership and learn to open your mind to new ideas
4.3 (43 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
297 students enrolled
Last updated 5/2017
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand why persuadability—or the willingness to change one’s mind in the face of evidence—is critical for modern leaders
  • Describe the 3 distinct advantages persuadable leaders possess
  • Apply 5 specific “power practices” to become more persuadable in your own work and life
  • Build tiny habits that lead you to be a more agile and accurate decision maker
  • Learn why persuadability can be a critical element of social change
View Curriculum
  • There are no prerequisites

As a leader, changing your mind has always been perceived as a weakness. Not anymore. In a world that’s changing faster than ever, successful leaders realize that a genuine willingness to change their own minds is the ultimate competitive advantage.  Today’s leaders need to be persuadable.

In this course, business consultant Al Pittampalli will draw on evidence from social science and cognitive psychology to show you how humility and radical open-mindedness can become powerful leadership assets.  You’ll learn why the traditional leadership paradigm that prioritizes confidence, consistency and conviction might no longer work in today’s fast-moving world.

Having worked for organizations ranging from NASA to Hertz to IBM, Al has hands-on experience coaching leaders to become more persuadable.  In this course, he’ll teach you about 3 clear advantages that persuadable leaders possess. Then he’ll walk you through 5 specific “power practices” that you can adopt in your own daily life and work to become a more agile, accurate and growth-minded leader. Finally, you’ll learn how persuadability is a critical element of social change.  He’ll share examples of how a willingness to change one’s mind has been an essential part of social movements ranging from gay marriage to civil rights to women’s rights to Indian independence.  Distilling cutting edge research, Al will give you actionable advice to become a more results-oriented leader who moves quickly to let the best ideas prevail.

Who is the target audience?
  • You want to learn a new approach to leadership
  • You want to become an agile, open-minded, and data-driven decision maker
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Curriculum For This Course
Why Persuadability is the Most Under-Appreciated Skill in Modern Leadership
9 Lectures 16:35

In this lecture, Al Pittampali welcomes you to the course, describes his background, and previews what you will learn and accomplish in each section.

Preview 01:28

In this lecture, Al describes what "persuadability" means and offers a fascinating example of how Christine Lagarde, Director of the International Monetary Fund, displayed persuadability early in her career.

Preview 03:24

Take this quick quiz to self-assess how persuadable you are and identify areas to work on during this course.

Take the Quiz: How Persuadable Are You?

In this lecture, Al describes how persuadability is different from the traditional leadership paradigm.  He teaches us why we need to rethink our notions of our ideas of successful leaders in today's fast-paced, world.

Preview 01:43

In this lecture, Al previews 3 advantages that leaders acquire when they become persuadable.  He provides a detailed explanation of the first advantage--accuracy--and shows how being open to new ideas can actually help us make better predictions and judgments in the long run.

Advantage of Persuadability #1: Accuracy

In this lecture, Al describes how Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, gained the advantage of accuracy by practicing persuadable leadership.

Accuracy in Action

In this lecture, Al describes the second advantage of persuadability: agility.  He shares a case study of Alan Mullaly, the former CEO of Ford, and how he managed to turn the foundering auto company around.

Advantages of Persuadability #2: Agility

In this lecture, Al describes the final major advantage of persuadability: growth.  If you want to be a leader who is constantly improving and evolving, it's important to recognize when to change your mind to stay on top of your game.

Advantages of Persuadability #3: Growth

Use this Course Discussion Board to introduce yourself to others taking the course and share your learning goals.

Introduce Yourself to the Course Community

Take the quiz to make sure you fully grasp the concept of "persuadability" before moving on.

Assess your Knowledge
5 questions
Power Practices of Persuadable Leaders
9 Lectures 22:00

Before getting into the details of how to become a more persuadable leader, Al will describe why becoming open to new ideas can be so difficult.  He'll teach you how learning about these challenges can help you overcome them.

The Roadblocks to Changing Your Mind

In this lecture, Al will describe the technique of "considering the opposite."

Preview 02:15

In this lecture, Al will describe the technique of updating your beliefs incrementally. He'll share an example of how a social entrepreneur used this concept to reframe her business.

Power Practice 2: Update Your Beliefs Incrementally

In this lecture, Al will describe the technique of "killing your darlings" or avoiding holding on to ideas that you love, even when there might be better or more logical ones out there.

Power Practice 3: "Kill Your Darlings"

In this lecture, Al will get specific on how exactly you can sacrifice your favorite ideas and trade them out for better ones.

Power Practice 3: How Do We Kill Our Darlings?

In this lecture, Al will share the technique of "perspective taking."

Power Practice 4: Perspective Taking

In this lecture, Al will describe how you can use the practice of "tiny habits" to incorporate perspective taking into your daily life.

Power Practice 4: Tiny Habits to Incorporate Perspective Taking

In this lecture, Al will teach you about the spectrum between decisiveness and persuadability and how you should calibrate your decisions accordingly.

Power Practice 5: The Decisiveness/Persuadability Spectrum

This toolkit will give you a set of exercises to start applying Al's 5 Power Practices of Persuadability to your own work and life.

Persuadability Toolkit

Use this quiz to assess your understanding of the 5 power practices of persuadable leaders before moving on.

Assess your Knowledge
4 questions
How Persuadable Leaders Who Change Their Mind, Change the World
5 Lectures 06:45

Al will describe why changing your mind, or being more persuadable, can have larger social repercussions and trigger wider effects beyond your own life and decisions.

Why Changing Your Mind Can Change the World

Al will describe the story of Rob Portman as an example of how one leader's persuadability had transformative effects on a larger social movement.

Preview 01:56

Al will describe why you do not have to be in a position of power to have influence as a persuadable leader and explore the concept of social contagion in relation to the obesity epidemic.

The Power of Social Contagion

Al will share concluding thoughts on how you can get started on the path to becoming a persuadable leader and offer us a mantra to remember persuadable practices in our own daily life.

Let the Best Idea Prevail

Use this final quiz to check your understanding of how persuadable leaders can change the world.

Assess your Knowledge
5 questions

In this exercise, you'll share your final reflections and make a personal commitment to think about leadership in new and more persuadable ways.

Final Reflection: "I Used To Think, But Now I Think...."
BONUS: Preview another +Acumen Master Class with Wharton Professor Adam Grant
1 Lecture 00:34

Get any other +Acumen Courses for an 82% discount using the code REFERAFRIEND. Check out:

BONUS: Preview another +Acumen Master Class with Wharton Professor Adam Grant
About the Instructor
+Acumen Courses
4.5 Average rating
9,243 Reviews
46,468 Students
10 Courses
Global Learning Community for Social Change-Makers

Acumen is a non-profit changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $108 million in 99 companies across Africa, Latin America and South Asia and was named one of Fast Company's Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies in 2015. We also run +Acumen, a global learning community for social change-makers. Be an effective force for change with Acumen's online courses and chapters.

Al Pittampalli
4.3 Average rating
43 Reviews
297 Students
1 Course
Author of Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds

Al Pittampalli is the author of two books that combine research and storytelling to help individuals and organizations adapt to a fast changing world. 

His latest, Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World will be published by HarperBusiness in early 2016. There are an astounding number of books that teach you how to persuade others. But as a society we’re already fairly persuasive; what we’re not is persuadable—we lack the genuine willingness to change our own minds. Why? For one, changing our minds is often perceived as a weakness in our culture. In this book, Al uses decades of social science to reveal it as an incontrovertible strength. Because not only is being persuadable the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do—a powerful advantage in both business and life. 

His first book, Read This Before Our Next Meeting: The Modern Meeting Standard for Successful Organizations, not only explains what’s wrong with “the meeting,” and meeting culture, but suggests how to make meetings more effective, efficient, and worthy of attending. Most importantly it assesses when it’s necessary to skip the meeting and get right to work by answering a critical question: What exactly is the purpose of the modern meeting? Now out in over 100K copies, it was the most popular kindle book in the world during the week of its release. The book was one of only 13 titles published by Seth Godin's award winning imprint, The Domino Project (Powered by Amazon). Todd Sattersen, former president of 800-CEO-READ and author of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time, named Read This Before Our Next Meeting the #4 best business book of 2011. It’s been translated into five different languages.

Al started his career as an IT consultant for Ernst & Young where he advised Fortune 500 organizations all over the country. This is where he first realized meeting mediocrity and ingrained stubbornness were epidemics. Now on his own, Al helps organizations like NASA, Hewlett Packard, Abbot Labs, transform their organizational cultures. He graduated from Stern School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in finance and currently lives in New York City.