By | Published On: March 7, 2024 |

Welcome to episode 169 of my podcast The Executive Edge with Lisa Tromba.

Lisa runs an Executive search company and it’s from here that she’s developed a great deal of expertise. Her observations are based on first hand experience. Cognitive and emotional biases are often an issue, and this has prompted her to write a book ‘Mind Knots’. In it she describes how these biases can prevent rational leadership

I queried if this was from reviewing a client brief and job description but then searching for the ideal client to put forward. But perhaps finding they were likely to struggle to be placed because of the errors in their approach or thinking. She started to observe typical patterns in human behaviour that would prevent the candidate from doing well. Or, if they were placed in a company, it might explain why they didn’t stay.


These patterns turn up as symptoms and she arrived at 8 key areas that she was repeatedly seeing. These areas are the 8 most prominent biases and they’re worth raising awareness about. She also recommends how to alter or improve them. In essence, they are shortcuts in thinking. An easy way to make assumptions about people or speed up decision making but it might limit a business. They end up making a poor choice

I asked what these were?

Being ego centric is one of them. Why do clients lean in that direction? Being ego-centric can result in strong drive, vision, determination, and tenacity. Many of these things present themselves in an ego-centric person which can be an asset for an organisation. But if they are unmanaged, they can result in autocratic and overly dominant behaviour.

Lisa helps the reader identify if this is a trait they have and challenges them to determine if this behaviour has ever held them back. If a business recruits too many ego-centric people, it can be an issue too. The company can become dominant in customer relationships, or at peer level with a top team. It can make them lose talent because someone can’t get heard.

She also cites that these behaviours often don’t work in isolation. The individual may believe they have a lot of control, but they may lack empathy. Seeing the world only through their own eyes and not doing enough collaboration or listening. This could get in the way of their future success

Find out more about Lisa’s book Knots – Understanding the Cognitive & Emotional Biases that Prevent Rational Leadership on Good Reads.