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

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

Jake Breeden

ISBN: 978-1-118-43192-4

Jan 2013, Jossey-Bass

224 pages



Strategies for overcoming the "sacred cows" that hold people back at work

We all know the "sacred cows" at work?the conventional wisdom to try your best, work well with others, and produce excellent work. But these cherished nuggets of advice, in practice, have a dark side that can lead to career-limiting unintended consequences. Based on Jake Breeden's experience coaching thousands of leaders in 27 countries, and the latest scientific research in behavioral economics, neuroscience, and psychology, Tipping Sacred Cows reveals how to overcome the dangerous behaviors that masquerade as virtues at work, and how to lead with fewer self-imposed limitations and greater results.

  • Identifies the seven most common sacred cows at work, including balance that turns bland, creativity that conceals narcissism, and passion that becomes obsession
  • Offers simple steps for recognizing and overcoming the potentially career-limiting effects of each of the most common sacred cows
  • Written by Jake Breeden, a faculty member at Duke University's Corporate Education program, rated by Businessweek and The Financial Times as #1 in the world

Tipping Sacred Cows shines a light on the hidden traps that lie between good intentions and great results, clearing a path so leaders can finally realize their full potential at work.

Take this quick 21-question survey to find out which of the seven sacred cows are standing in your way at work.

1 Meet Your Sacred Cows 1

2 Bland Bold Balance 25

3 Automatic Accountable Collaboration 49

4 Narcissistic Useful Creativity 69

5 Process Outcome Excellence 95

6 Outcome Process Fairness 119

7 Obsessive Harmonious Passion 141

8 Backstage Onstage Preparation 167

9 Extinguish Your Backfires 187

Notes 193

Acknowledgments 203

About the Author 205

Index 207