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Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time
     

Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time

5.0 1
by Jeffrey Pfeffer
 

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Finalist for the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year

Best business book of the week from Inc.com

The author of Power, Stanford business school professor, and a leading management thinker offers a hard-hitting dissection of the leadership industry and ways to make workplaces

Overview

Finalist for the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year

Best business book of the week from Inc.com

The author of Power, Stanford business school professor, and a leading management thinker offers a hard-hitting dissection of the leadership industry and ways to make workplaces and careers work better.

The leadership enterprise is enormous, with billions of dollars, thousands of books, and hundreds of thousands of blogs and talks focused on improving leaders. But what we see worldwide is employee disengagement, high levels of leader turnover and career derailment, and failed leadership development efforts.

In Leadership BS, Jeffrey Pfeffer shines a bright light on the leadership industry, showing why it’s failing and how it might be remade. He sets the record straight on the oft-made prescriptions for leaders to be honest, authentic, and modest, tell the truth, build trust, and take care of others. By calling BS on so many of the stories and myths of leadership, he gives people a more scientific look at the evidence and better information to guide their careers.

Rooted in social science, and will practical examples and advice for improving management, Leadership BS encourages readers to accept the truth and then use facts to change themselves and the world for the better.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
07/13/2015
“The leadership industry has failed,” charges Stanford Business School professor Pfeffer in this lively critique of a professional discipline driven, according to him, not by wisdom or a desire to foster leadership, but by money. Its precepts, he writes, are “based more on hope than reality, on wishes rather than data, on beliefs instead of science.” Pfeffer sets out to help his readers rethink leadership by focusing on the root causes of failures in business leadership. Pfeffer counsels readers to look away from the “inspiration and fables” that glut the market, and to accept that some of those truisms are fallible: authenticity can be overrated, and honesty is not always the best policy for leaders. Pfeffer has taken on an ambitious project, given the uniformity of current thinking on business success, but his bluntness should go a long way toward slaughtering the sacred cows of the leadership industry. This is an entertaining and inspiring read for anyone looking to shake things up at work. Agent: Christy Fletcher, Fletcher & Co. (Sept.)
The Economist
“Sensible advice...”
—Financial Times (on Power)
“[Power] ought to be required reading for would-be leaders...[E]xcellent.”
Inc magazine
“[Power] will help you get comfortable with challenging assumptions and lingering on the pause....[Pfeffer] draws on a wealth of social-science and psychology research.”
--Financial Times (on Power)
“[Power] ought to be required reading for would-be leaders...[E]xcellent.”
—Jim Collins
“Jeff Pfeffer stands as one of the great management thinkers of our time. Here in this important work, he challenges us to embrace a hippocratic oath of leadership: first do no harm. Diagnostic and prescriptive, passionate and incisive, provocative and inspired-Pfeffer yet again makes a noble contribution.”
—Laszlo Bock
“As bracing as a splash of cold water, Leadership BS is at once a scathing indictment of the ‘leadership industry’ and a roadmap to success. Pfeffer dismantles the jargon-filled aphorisms of conventional leadership, replacing them with fact-based prescriptions for how to succeed.”
—Adam Grant
“A provocative case that most leadership advice is baloney and the entire industry is broken. Pfeffer convincingly argues that we consistently give the wrong people power-and even when we get it right, authenticity is a recipe for disaster.”
—Gina Bianchini
“I wish I had read Leadership BS years go. It’s not only honest but helpful, putting words to the disconnect I’ve seen between what works and what we’re all “supposed to be” doing. This inconsistency has so much to say about the current state of professional women’s progress.”
—Curt Coffman
“Leadership BS goes directly to the soul of leadership practices, exposing both the rewards and penalties of contemporary notions. You’ll be challenged to look at qualities such as narcissism, vulnerability, immodesty and ego and consider why these too are important traits of effective leaders.”
—Morten T. Hansen
“A fascinating inquiry into why the “leadership industry” has failed to develop better leaders. Pfeffer turns conventional wisdom about leadership upside down, and challenges us to rethink why and how leaders behave. It’s an indispensable book for every leader, executive coach, and others who seek to help leaders.”
—Stephen Kosslyn
“Pfeffer offers no nostrums, no feel-good solutions; instead, he offers unvarnished insights and dry-eyed suggestions. Anyone who is seriously interested in leadership should read this book.”
—Kent Thiry
“Jeff Pfeffer has done it again. He forces us to confront uncomfortable questions about ourselves and our cultures. This book reminds us of the dangers of pursuing comforting messages instead of practical truths.”
—Sim B Sitkin
“Pfeffer persuasively attacks the simplistic generalities that masquerade as leadership advice. Offering examples of when such advice can hurt leaders. Turning some of our assumptions concerning authenticity, trust, and humility on their head. Essential reading for anyone who would rather rely on scientific evidence than merely on cool stories.”
—Barry Z. Posner
“Challenges conventional thinking and traditional bromides, underscoring the importance of being evidence-based if you want to make an impact in developing leadership.”
—Herminia Ibarra
“In this wonderful Book, Jeff Pfeffer takes on sacred cows and conventional wisdom, showing us a different path to the leadership excellence we all desire yet find so elusive. It should be required reading in every business school.”
—Strauss Zelnick
“Pfeffer explores what is most typically a feel-good field with the tools of a statistician and ferocious tenacity. Preferring evidence over anecdote, Pfeffer exposes bold truths, even when they are inconvenient. It turns out the meek often do not inherit the earth, or much else, for that matter.”
—Keith Ferrazzi
“In this must-read book, Pfeffer exposes the gap between what we’re told we should do to be leaders and what successful leaders actually do to climb the career ladder. Pfeffer’s take-no-prisoners approach to management research and practice always reveals insightful and shocking results.”
—Jim Collins
“Jeff Pfeffer stands as one of the great management thinkers of our time. Here in this important work, he challenges us to embrace a hippocratic oath of leadership: first do no harm. Diagnostic and prescriptive, passionate and incisive, provocative and inspired-Pfeffer yet again makes a noble contribution.”
—Laszlo Bock
“As bracing as a splash of cold water, Leadership BS is at once a scathing indictment of the ‘leadership industry’ and a roadmap to success. Pfeffer dismantles the jargon-filled aphorisms of conventional leadership, replacing them with fact-based prescriptions for how to succeed.”
—Adam Grant
“A provocative case that most leadership advice is baloney and the entire industry is broken. Pfeffer convincingly argues that we consistently give the wrong people power-and even when we get it right, authenticity is a recipe for disaster.”
—Keith Ferrazzi
“In this must-read book, Pfeffer exposes the gap between what we’re told we should do to be leaders and what successful leaders actually do to climb the career ladder. Pfeffer’s take-no-prisoners approach to management research and practice always reveals insightful and shocking results.”
—Gina Bianchini
“I wish I had read Leadership BS years go. It’s not only honest but helpful, putting words to the disconnect I’ve seen between what works and what we’re all “supposed to be” doing. This inconsistency has so much to say about the current state of professional women’s progress.”
—Curt Coffman
“Leadership BS goes directly to the soul of leadership practices, exposing both the rewards and penalties of contemporary notions. You’ll be challenged to look at qualities such as narcissism, vulnerability, immodesty and ego and consider why these too are important traits of effective leaders.”
—Morten T. Hansen
“A fascinating inquiry into why the “leadership industry” has failed to develop better leaders. Pfeffer turns conventional wisdom about leadership upside down, and challenges us to rethink why and how leaders behave. It’s an indispensable book for every leader, executive coach, and others who seek to help leaders.”
—Stephen Kosslyn
“Pfeffer offers no nostrums, no feel-good solutions; instead, he offers unvarnished insights and dry-eyed suggestions. Anyone who is seriously interested in leadership should read this book.”
—Kent Thiry
“Jeff Pfeffer has done it again. He forces us to confront uncomfortable questions about ourselves and our cultures. This book reminds us of the dangers of pursuing comforting messages instead of practical truths.”
—Sim B Sitkin
“Pfeffer persuasively attacks the simplistic generalities that masquerade as leadership advice. Offering examples of when such advice can hurt leaders. Turning some of our assumptions concerning authenticity, trust, and humility on their head. Essential reading for anyone who would rather rely on scientific evidence than merely on cool stories.”
—Barry Z. Posner
“Challenges conventional thinking and traditional bromides, underscoring the importance of being evidence-based if you want to make an impact in developing leadership.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062383167
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/15/2015
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
141,924
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has authored or coauthored fourteen books and is a highly sought-after expert on the subject of power and leadership. He is widely considered one of the leading management experts in the world. Pfeffer has been a visiting professor at London Business School, Harvard Business School, Singapore Management University, and IESE. He has served on the boards of several human capital software companies as well as on a variety of public and nonprofit boards. He lives in Hillsborough, California.

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Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent, honest assessment of how much BS passes for good leadership. Instructive to see how much damage it can cause and why.