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 Conant is truly one of the great leaders in American business. He understands the requirements of business as well as the motivations of people.”
Daryl Brewster
CEO, CECP; Former Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc.
Doug's leadership lessons around what it takes to achieve the best by building, training, and leading highly effective teams are very applicable to our work at Wells Fargo. Your keynote inspired us! ”
Avid Modjtabai
Senior Executive Vice President, Consumer Lending, Wells Fargo
Doug is the living embodiment of the power of a great leader as teacher. He has an extraordinary capacity to share the lessons of his experience in a way that enlightens and inspires.”
Russ Eisenstat
Executive Director, Center for Higher Ambition Leadership

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