Why Leaders Can't Lead: The Unconscious Conspiracy Continues
July 1997, Jossey-Bass
Leaders beware. There's an unconscious conspiracy afoot, aiming to sabotage your plans and undermine your vision. Entrenched bureaucracy, ominous social trends, and mind-numbing routine are among its members?and their proliferation is an unfortunate sign of our times. But take heart. In this highly acclaimed work, legendary management consultant Warren Bennis unmasks the culprits, analyzes their tactics, and offers new insights for change agents struggling to take charge in an era that conspires against effective leadership.
The best book on how leaders can lead.
Bennis teaches leaders to maximize their virtues, correct their faults, face change successfully, and love their work. Leaders will win, but so will their organizations: Bennis advocates a collaborative leadership that empowers employees and enhances organizational effectiveness.
A priceless gift to those seeking to be accountable leaders.
--Max De Pree, author of Leading Without Power
So learn why leaders can't lead. Then learn how they can lead. This book--alive with warmth and wisdom--is essential reading both for leaders and for the human resource professionals who teach them.
The Author xvii
Part One: The Unconscious Conspiracy and How to Confound It 1
1 One Job, One Year, One Life 3
2 Learning Some Basic Truisms About Leadership 14
3 The New Metaphysics of Our Age 25
Part Two: A Society Without Dreams 31
4 The Long Slide from True Leadership 33
5 Back to the Future 42
6 The age of Unreality 50
7 Where Have All the Leaders Gone? 59
Part Three: Parts of the Problem 67
8 Bosses as Heroes and Celebrities 69
9 When There Are Too Many Chiefs 76
10 Bottom-Line Obsessions 81
11 Untapped Human Capital 86
12 The Perils of Accord 90
13 The Pornography of Leadership 94
14 When Winning Is Losing 98
15 The Name of the Game is Greed 102
Part Four: Parts of the Solution 105
16 Leading to Make a Difference 107
17 A Bright Future for Complexity 112
18 Letting Virtues Shine Through 116
19 Quitting on Principle 121
20 Canceling the Doppelganger Effect 137
21 Leader Power That No One Has 142
22 Avoiding Disaster During Periods of Change 147
23 Dealing with the Way Things Are 152
"Only Warren Bennis has the unique combination of thirty years' study of leaders and leadership and twenty years' practical experience as COO and CEO of large and difficult organizations that makes Why Leaders Can't Lead the best book on how leaders can lead." --Peter Drucker
"Warren Bennis is one of the most perceptive and experienced writers on leadership and management. . . . He knows a lot about why our common efforts don't work and how they might be made to work. The book is full of lively insights expressed in vivid terms." --John W. Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and founding chairman of Common Cause
"This is vintage Bennis! Bennis at his best!" --Robert TownsAnd, author of Up the Organization and Further Up the Organization