Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits that Masquerade as Virtues

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Overview

We all know the "sacred cows" that are revered in theworkplace—the conventional wisdom to try your best, work wellwith others, and produce excellent work. But these cherishednuggets of advice, in practice, have a dark side that can lead tocareer-limiting, unintended consequences.

Based on Jake Breeden's experience coaching thousands of leadersin 27 countries and on the latest research in behavioral economics,neuroscience, and psychology, Tipping Sacred Cows revealswhat it takes ...

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Overview

We all know the "sacred cows" that are revered in theworkplace—the conventional wisdom to try your best, work wellwith others, and produce excellent work. But these cherishednuggets of advice, in practice, have a dark side that can lead tocareer-limiting, unintended consequences.

Based on Jake Breeden's experience coaching thousands of leadersin 27 countries and on the latest research in behavioral economics,neuroscience, and psychology, Tipping Sacred Cows revealswhat it takes to overcome the dangerous behaviors that masqueradeas virtues at work and how you can lead with fewer self-imposedlimitations and greater results. In this groundbreaking book,Breeden identifies the dark side of the seven most common sacredcows at work:

Balance: Disguising indecision as a bland compromise thatattempts to achieve many things but ends up accomplishingnothing

Collaboration: Creating a culture of learned helplessnesswith little individual empowerment and accountability

Creativity: Wasting time and money coming up with newideas because it feels good, not because it's needed

Excellence: Spending too much energy producing perfectwork instead of developing the quick-and-dirty solution needednow

Fairness: Keeping score and evening the score to makesure no one gets more than their "fair share"

Passion: Racing down a path seeking success only to findburn-out and misbehavior instead

Preparation: Planning to do work instead of productivelyworking out just-in-time solutions with just the right people

For each of these seven sacred cows, Breeden offers proven,powerful strategies for how you can overcome their allure andachieve real results.

Tipping Sacred Cows shines a light on the hidden trapsthat lie between good intentions and good results, clearing a pathso you can finally realize your fullest potential at work.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Think work obsession and a focus on fairness are the best ways to get ahead in the corporate world? Think again, says Breeden, who teaches at Duke Corporate Education and specializes in training modern leaders. It's time to let go of our sacred cows: the corporate "virtues" whose importance we take for granted. Breeden argues that success in the workplace requires being able to deep-six the conventional wisdom, recognize when assets have turned into liabilities, and consider the unintended consequences of the canon of corporate "wisdom." Breeden breaks down some of these old virtues into their component parts, including balance, collaboration, creativity, fairness, and passion—no longer as useful as they once were. "Executives pay lip service to balance," says a Breeden client, "but they pay bonuses to people who get results.'" Breeden puts his theories into practice, providing step-by-step guides for how readers can stop striving for each purported virtue and start using time and resources more wisely. Though the framing is simply a reversal of a number of other leadership guides that focus on evolving corporate values and leadership trends, this rigorous, thoughtful book may help leadership skill seekers develop their own ideas and strategies. Agent: Patricia Snell, Michael Snell Literary Agency. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118345917
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/12/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 812,034
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jake Breeden teaches on the faculty of Duke CorporateEducation, the world's top-rated provider of custom executiveeducation. He has taught leaders in some of the world's leadingcompanies, including Google, Starbucks, Cisco, Microsoft, and IBM.He has an MBA from Duke University and lives in Chapel Hill, NorthCarolina, where his three daughters keep him laughing andlearning.

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Table of Contents

1 Meet Your Sacred Cows 1

2 Bland Bold Balance 25

3 Automatic Accountable Collaboration 49

4 Narcissistic Useful Creativity 69

5 Process Outcome Excellence 95

6 Outcome Process Fairness 119

7 Obsessive Harmonious Passion 141

8 Backstage Onstage Preparation 167

9 Extinguish Your Backfires 187

Notes 193

Acknowledgments 203

About the Author 205

Index 207

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