Quicksilver

“Quicksilver is an inspiring read . . . Dr. Michael O’Brien offers a critical and sound analysis of the all-too-human emotional and cognitive blind spots that impair the effectiveness of leaders.”

—Richard G. Azizkhan, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief, Cincinnati

Children’s Hospital Medical Center

” . . . Quicksilver is thoughtful and highly recommended reading for anyone whose job is thinking.”

–Midwest Book Review

Quicksilver was the nickname given to liquid metal mercury, the shiny stuff used in old-fashioned thermometers. Quicksilver became a metaphor for suddenness and unpredictability. If you ever saw mercury skitter across the floor from a broken thermometer, you know why.

The quicksilver in this book’s title refers to two aspects of organizational life, two sides of the same coin. One face of that coin seems alarmingly unstable. There you find the unprecedented pace of change of many of today’s industries. Opposite, however, is the infinite ability of the human brain to both respond to and create change.

One of the more important concepts in Quicksilver and what we see as a core competency for great leadership is to “notice how you notice”: how to be more aware of your thinking so that your “automatic” thoughts don’t lead you to less than optimal decisions or behavior. And “change” is a key trigger for our automatic and “normal” thoughts to take over. We’re taught that “normal” thinking is good. Quicksilver shows why normal thinking is increasingly getting in the way of good business decisions and great leadership.