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Why Leaders Can't Lead: The Unconscious Conspiracy Continues

ISBN: 978-0-7879-0943-7
192 pages
July 1997, Jossey-Bass
Why Leaders Can

Description

A Selection of the Executive Program and Fortune Book Clubs

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.
--Peter Drucker

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.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

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

Postscript 160

Index 161

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Author Information

WARREN G. BENNIS is Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at the University of Southern California. He is coauthor of the best-selling book Leaders (over 200,000 copies sold) and other seminal works. Bennis has been a university president and adviser to four U.S. presidents. He is now a leading corporate consultant.
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Reviews

"Warren Bennis is one of the most perceptive and experienced writers on leadership and management....The book is full of lively insights expressed in vivid terms." --John W. Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare

"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
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