Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told to Do Is Wrong
When It’s Smart to Say No
Nearly every week we read about a tragedy or scandal that could have been prevented if individuals had said no to ill-advised or illegitimate orders. In this timely book, Ira Chaleff explores when and how to disobey inappropriate orders, reduce unacceptable risk, and find better ways to achieve legitimate goals.
The inspiration for the book, and its title, comes from the concept of intelligent disobedience used in guide dog training. Guide dogs must recognize and resist a command that would put their human and themselves at risk and identify safer options for achieving the goal. This is precisely what Chaleff helps humans do. Using both deeply disturbing and uplifting examples, as well as critical but largely forgotten research, he shows how to create a culture where, rather than “just following orders,” people hold themselves accountable to do the right thing, always.