Leadership BS

Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time
By Jeffrey Pfeffer
277 Pages

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I subscribe to Jim Collins’ idea that creating great organizations requires first confronting the “brutal facts.” That’s what Jeffrey Pfeffer champions in Leadership BS. He asserts that a lot of the current management literature is mere pap designed to market leadership thinking. Many of the leadership books and models we see today are not anchored in dealing with the real world. Pfeffer challenges us to acknowledge the “disconnects” between reality and action — to confront the brutal facts and design enlightened ways in our leadership to address those facts. He sheds light on the way the current literature, and the leadership development marketplace, oversimplifies problems, obscures complexity, and too easily puts forth “solutions” that are largely ineffective. In this sense, his work is a provocative and important read. However, he does not offer any compelling alternative approach. My key takeaway is that leadership is a serious endeavor and must be approached in a clear-eyed fashion — with a performance oriented mindset and an appetite for the hard work required to become proficient at it.

– D. R. Conant

What People Are Saying

Doug stands out as a high performance CEO who is also a people builder. He demonstrates that one can get outstanding results while also being a good human being”
Fred Hassan
Partner, Warburg Pincus; Former Chairman & CEO, Schering Plough Corp & Pharmacia
Doug Conant is a rare combination — someone who thinks like a leader and leads like a thinker. When he talks, not only does the C-suite listen, but they also take notes.”
Dan Pink
Author, To Sell Is Human; Author, Drive
Douglas Conant's keynote presentation and insights were of enormous value in preparing our members to assume the CEO role in their companies. He practices what he preaches.”
Kendall Crolius
President, G100 Next Generation Leadership

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