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Publisher's Summary

The author of Power, Stanford business school professor, and a leading management thinker offers a hard-hitting dissection of the leadership industry and ways to make workplaces and careers work better.

The leadership enterprise is enormous, with billions of dollars, thousands of books, and hundreds of thousands of blogs and talks focused on improving leaders. But what we see worldwide is employee disengagement, high levels of leader turnover and career derailment, and failed leadership development efforts.

In Leadership BS Jeffrey Pfeffer shines a bright light on the leadership industry, showing why it's failing and how it might be remade. He sets the record straight on the oft-made prescriptions for leaders to be honest, authentic, and modest; tell the truth; build trust; and take care of others. By calling BS on so many of the stories and myths of leadership, he gives people a more scientific look at the evidence and better information to guide their careers.

Rooted in social science and with practical examples and advice for improving management, Leadership BS encourages listeners to accept the truth and then use facts to change themselves and the world for the better.

©2015 Jeffrey Pfeffer (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Probably the best book ever written on leadership

I long felt cynical about leadership in general and was always sceptical about the stories of inspirational leaders. This book have provide me with evidence and data to back up my conclusions.

We need a new look at how leaders are taught.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Controversial book

Excellent narration and great book on pointing out the controversies of all the leaders.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent down to earth ideas

I started the book with great hesitation: is it just a cynic preaching cynicism? No. It is a book on the realities of life and what you will have to face if you want to climb certain highs. It seems that the only way to avoid these problems is thru entrepreneurship... And still, be mindful of the coup... Very good book, excellent narration .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a very different leadership book

he may be on to something, business model of put your own oxygen mask first

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Antidote to Bromides from Leadership Gurus

The leadership industry is full of inspirational, feel-good talk which does not match what the majority of organizational leaders look like. According to Pfeffer, most leaders act out of their own self-interest and are rarely held accountable for bad behavior. Individuals and organizations should recognize this and plan accordingly. Organizations should be made less leader-dependent, balances of power created, metrics and reward systems put in place that assume leaders act out of self-interest.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Solid Examination of the "Leadership Industry"

As someone in a leadership role, and a self-identified contrarian, I thoroughly enjoyed the very uncomfortable exposé Jeffrey Pfeffer does of the mostly unsubstantiated "leadership industry". Far too often, misinformed platitudes masquerade as sound advice when there nothing that resembles evidence to support its propagation. While I went in hoping for more actionable takeaways on methods I could use to improve my own performance, I still found high value in the discussion around the political realities of why bad behavior is so often rewarded in this field.

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Just great reality

This book shows the arguments of the disconnection that exists in leadership theory and what leaders do. This something that you probably experience every day and is displayed here with good references

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Great premise... With no resolution

I tried to like this book but I just don't understand what it's point was. It's subtitled "Fixing workplace..." and yet he offers no solutions other than to blast the leadership industry. Half the people he talks about failed. Half were insanely successful. I get what we are doing isn't working but it's easy to throw out examples of it not working if you don't try to come up with a solution. Disappointing

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Leadership exterminator?

A superficial reading of Jeffrey Pfeffer’s book may lead to the erroneous conclusion that this celebrated professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business is a “leadership exterminator”. That’s not true. Jeffrey courageously unmasks the “leadership industry” and demonstrate - with undeniable scientific evidence - that all the skills and traits leaders are expected to demonstrate, are typically exercised in the very opposite way. However, this is not leaders fault. This happens because the system has been designed to encourage leaders not to behave as prescribed on leadership books and talks. Pfeffer doesn’t have the solution to fix the system, but he definitely provides great guidance for anyone to survive on it.

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How can you disregard the power of inspiration?!

I couldn't get past Mr. Pfeffer's disregard and apparent disinterest for the soft skills essential to meaningful leadership. As a leader in the field of education, I found Mr. Pfeffer's analysis and recommendations to be counterproductive to my roles and purpose as an educational leader. I encourage Mr. Pfeffer to consider the important balance between the rider and the elephant, articulated in Heath & Heath's Switch.

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  • Mark James Gatto
  • 09-30-16

I'm converted!

An excellent appraisal of the truths and realities which the leadership industry fails to account for. This book will open your mind to the way things are and what you need to do about it.