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

Jake Breeden, Author
Jake Breeden. Jossey-Bass, $25.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-118-34591-7
Reviewed on: 11/26/2012
Release date: 03/01/2013
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-118-43191-7
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-118-43192-4
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-118-53190-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-283-97801-9
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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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