Princeton Executive Coaching

Long Fuse, BIG BANG by Kevin Haseltine




"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, it is a habit."- Aristotle

"Make your big ideas small enough for the brains that need to approve them."

Kevin Hazeltine in an interview on Bloomberg radio - August 2010

Experts have long forecast that professionals will have six different careers over the course of their lifetime. If that's true, then Kevin Hazeltine is in the midst of a very impressive run. Trained as a neuroscientist, he was an aerospace executive, the EVP of R&D at Disney for ten years and most recently the Director of Research at the US National Security Agency.

Using rich examples from his business experience combined with empirical research, Hazeltine shares his understanding of "the brain's playbooks" and how we can use that wisely with ourselves and others we work.

He explains why we are hardwired to overvalue short wins now over potentially far bigger wins in the more distant future and how to use that knowledge and other tendencies effectively. He further explains how we can use that to avoid less effective quick fixes and systematically pursue more effective, high-impact solutions.


Hazeltine demonstrates how we can use the brain's preferences for the immediate, the fastest and easiest. He has especially insightful examples and principles that are useful in influencing others that he has learned from experience and neuroscience. These include appealing more to "hearts than minds", reducing the perception of risk and channeling passion to create progress.

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