Sebastian Gebski's Reviews > Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time

Leadership BS by Jeffrey Pfeffer
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it was amazing

This one belongs to the category I call "Schrödinger's books" - because it's both right & wrong in the same time ;> But at least it makes the reader think on her/his own, which is already a great benefit.

Basically author tries to deal with what he calls "leadership industry" - a movement that tries to send unrealistic & non-verifiable, hippie vision of leadership based on inspirational speeches, aimed mainly for temporal high spirits boost. He writes a lot about leadership crisis we encounter, its reasons & ways to solve it - especially ones that are BELIEVED to solve it, but there's no proof they do. Actually, he spends a lot of time to show that many cases indeed prove otherwise - the most successful leaders are narcissistic (one would say "asshole") individuals.

Another interesting topic is the rift between actual behaviours & "official" statements, e.g. ones presented in various literature - Pfeffers goes through the reasoning of these differences, something I find particularly interesting.

Why is he right & wrong in the same time? Because situations he describes is usually clearly descended (with a full continuity) from the traditional, hierarchical models - these companies & their leaders have evolved for a long time, they have some cultural legacy & they've reached a scale that requires a lot of boldness & resoluteness. BUT it doesn't mean that this all is applicable to small units that emerge from nothing - smart start-up culture built from scratch under completely different conditions. These small cultures (with openness & transparency restricted only to <150 ppl groups) can be incredibly performing - IF proper (DIFFERENT!) leadership values are being applied.

But lets get back to the book itself. Basically - the further, the better. Initial ~15% is continuous whining, neither constructive, nor interesting. But then it gets much more interesting - obviously you shouldn't get it very directly, but rather "filter" with your own experience & judgement, but it's clearly a good food for you own thoughts ;)

If you're about to read just one leadership books this year, you should consider this one. It's not perfect, but it pops up the right issues.

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Reading Progress

January 22, 2017 – Started Reading
January 22, 2017 – Shelved
January 31, 2017 – Finished Reading

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