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Taboos of Leadership: The 10 Secrets No One Will Tell You About Leaders and What They Really Think
by Anthony F. Smith

Published by Jossey-Bass

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Most experts on leadership would have us believe that successful leaders are superhuman beings who are humble servants, have hearts of gold, and are motivated by the needs of their employees and shareholders.

That's because no one's been telling the truth about leadership . . . 

Most leaders who make it to the top possess characteristics that are all too human: they have politically incorrect attitudes, are conflicted, and play politics to get their way. Written by leading management consultant Anthony F. Smith, The Taboos of Leadership reveals the rarely discussed realities of leadership -- the secrets that leaders just cannot admit publicly for fear of losing power, self-respect, or even their jobs. This revelatory book will help both leaders and followers achieve real understanding and co-create a two-way street culture of openness, trust, and improved performance in their organizations.

The Taboos of Leadership discloses ten guarded secrets that leaders can't discuss, even with their closest constituents, including: charisma shouldn't make a difference . . . but it does; women make better leaders . . . when that's what they really want to do; blatant self-interest is dangerous . . . in followers, not leaders; thou shalt not play favorites with friends and family . . . except when it makes a lot of sense; and more.

Using real, in-the-trenches stories from Fortune 500 companies, Smith shows that once leaders and followers acknowledge the existence of a taboo in the workplace, they can then consider its positives and negatives. Leaders can determine if an existing taboo is hurting the organization or if it serves a useful purpose. If the taboo serves a useful purpose, they can consider ways to preserve it. If not, it should be pruned back and weeded out, allowing an organization and its leaders and followers to grow in a new way. 

pub date: 2007-04-20 | hardcover | 9780787995829