Counterintuitive Ideas, Special Features, Insights from Diverse Fields

Counterintuitive ideas and delightful discoveries:

One of the pleasures of doing research is learning things that challenge our assumptions. Another great pleasure is coming upon a creative phrase that captures an important truth. Here are some of my favorites:

"Don't fight forces, use them"

(Buckminster Fuller)

For example, stay close to your cynics. Their objections to your plans can make those plans stronger.

"Success is a lousy teacher; it seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose"

(Bill Gates)

"The leaders that made their organizations great didn't start with great visions ... they first got the right people on the bus, in the right seats ..."

(leadership expert Jim Collins)

"People are more likely to act their way into a new way of thinking than think their way into a new way of acting"

(author Richard Pascale)

When working with allies on a project, "put your worst foot forward." Sharing vulnerabilities can build trust.

"Behind every complaint is a desire, which often hides a couple's need for the other's approval"

(psychologist Dave Waters)

Loss and Discovery is perhaps the most compelling book I have ever read about change and leadership and human behavior. I honestly couldn’t put it down. It is comprehensive and captivating, filled with stories, anecdotes and practical examples in both public and private sectors, Those not familiar with the Torah will find them very accessible.
Russ has pulled words of wisdom from not only the Torah, but from experts in many fields and ties them together in a virtual treasure trove of gold nuggets on every page. Every leader and manager should read it but I believe anyone could benefit from the lessons shared in it. I highly recommend this book.
Ruth Hallenbeck
retired organizational consultant

Special features:


Chapters are followed by a commentary from a Torah scholar or leadership expert. They offer an alternative perspective on the chapter’s theme. The commentators are:

Rabbi Joe Black, Senior Rabbi, Temple Emanuel, Denver

Rev. Michael Cheuck, leadership coach, congregational consultant

Dr. Trudi Ferguson, organizational consultant, executive coach

Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, founder, Mishkan Chicago spiritual community

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, president and dean, Valley Beit Midrash

Russ Linden has the unique ability to make the ancient Hebrew stories become contemporary. This is a marvelous blend of contemporary research with character studies from today and three millennia ago. Books on management can become tedious, but Loss and Discovery is a page-turner from beginning to end. This book will be a blessing to all who open its pages.
Dr. Liz Emrey
Pastor, New Beginnings Christian Community, Charlottesville

Examples and insights from diverse fields, including:

  • Jazz: It’s based on the same principles that effective teams use to innovate.
  • Politics: Francis Perkins, the first woman in a president’s cabinet, learned how to deal with FDR’s vacillating personality, forged relationships with both allies and opponents, and was the force behind many of the key New Deal acts, including Social Security.
  • International Relations: John Kennedy found a way to get offensive weapons out of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, by utilizing lessons learned from the Bay of Pigs debacle 18 months earlier.
  • Framing: A young Ruth Bader Ginsburg won a case at the Supreme Court, in part, by carefully using language that got the justices’ attention without alienating them.
  • Sports: As high performing athletes know, the function of an opponent is to bring out the best in your performance.
  • Behavioral Economics: This growing field has helped us understand that most people are far more focused on avoiding losses than
    achieving gains, which is one reason why change is so difficult for people.

You’ll also learn:

  • What it means to have a “fixed mindset” or “growth mindset,” and which one you have.
  • That our brains are wired for predictability and certainty, a huge challenge when change is required, and how leaders can
    overcome that challenge.
  • The art of speaking truth to power (as Moses, Abraham and five brave women did with God).
  • Questions to ask job applicants to learn about their attitudes and motivation.
  • A communications method that connects with people who have different learning styles.
  • How to use influence when formal authority won’t cut it.