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Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters (Leadership for the Common Good) [Hardcover]

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Pages   282
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Harvard Business School Press
ISBN  1591391660  
EAN  9781591391661  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
How is Saddam Hussein like Tony Blair? Or Kenneth Lay like Lou Gerstner? Answer: They are, or were, leaders. Many would argue that tyrants, corrupt CEOs, and other abusers of power and authority are not leaders at all--at least not as the word is currently used. But, according to Barbara Kellerman, this assumption is dangerously naive. A provocative departure from conventional thinking, Bad Leadership compels us to see leadership in its entirety. Kellerman argues that the dark side of leadership--from rigidity and callousness to corruption and cruelty--is not an aberration. Rather, bad leadership is as ubiquitous as it is insidious--and so must be more carefully examined and better understood. Drawing on high-profile, contemporary examples--from Mary Meeker to David Koresh, Bill Clinton to Radovan Karadzic, Al Dunlap to Leona Helmsley--Kellerman explores seven primary types of bad leadership and dissects why and how leaders cross the line from good to bad. The book also illuminates the critical role of followers, revealing how they collaborate with, and sometimes even cause, bad leadership. Daring and counterintuitive, Bad Leadership makes clear that we need to face the dark side to become better leaders and followers ourselves. Barbara Kellerman is research director of the Center for Public Leadership and a lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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More About Barbara Kellerman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Barbara Kellerman, Ph.D., is the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has served as both founding executive director and research director for the Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership. Kellerman has written articles appearing in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and Harvard Business Review.

Barbara Kellerman currently resides in the state of Maryland.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Need more books on bad leadership  Oct 25, 2008
This book certainly encourages some interesting reviews. Perhaps a non-US view could be useful for some readers. The book is not meant to be a scholastic study of bad leadership, and I reject the notion that just because a book is published by Harvard Business School, it somehow has to be all impartial and full of balanced analysis. The book is clearly the author's own view of what constitute bad leadership, and by that definition, opinionated. Her view on Bill Clinton's inaction in Rwanda did seem a bit "personal" at times, after all she acknowledged the pace of the event caught everyone by surprise. Bill Aramony was a corrupt leader. Exactly how his extramarital affair with a woman some forty years his junior, which the author loved to point out, could somehow be a trait to be diagnosed and lead to bad leadership ? The author provided no explanation.

The only instance where Kellerman came close to criticizing Bush Jr. was a citation to another paper titled, "Why Do We Tolerate Bad Leaders". Even then, Bush Jr. was never named directly. This is how she did it, ".... in the wake of September 11, 2001....... we are more willing than we would be otherwise to go along with leaders who give the appearance of being strong and certain." [citation to the above paper]

Don't forget this was written in 2004. Any criticism against the President (Bush Jr.) would probably see this book shelved before it hit the printing press, Harvard or no Harvard. The author did a great job raising the subject. Bad leadership should be given more attention. People should buy the book, and more studies are needed. So why the single star ? The author was at pain to point out how there can be no bad leader without followers, chapter after chapter. You'd have to wait till Chapter 11 for Edmund Burke's "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Therein lies the problem, in Kellerman's world of bad leadership there are always followers and enablers. They can be broadly divided into three types: bystanders, evildoers, and acolytes. By glossing over Bush Jr. bad leadership, this book suffers a credibility problem. By not speaking out, did Kellerman became a follower ? If so, which type ? Perhaps she was right when she wrote, " protest against the powers that be takes time, energy, and, more often than not, courage."
Every Christian Should Read  Jun 14, 2007
This is a must for people working in Christian organizations and for laypeople in churches. There is bad leadership in the church and it often looks a lot like good leadership. Kellerman writes about the "recent revelations of wrongdoing by leaders of the Roman Catholic Church . . . that was so abhorrent it makes us all ill." She continues: "the idea that some leaders and some followers are bad, and that they might have something in common with good leaders and followers, has not fully penetrated the conversation or the curriculum" [of leadership training]. Her book is aptly titled for my situation ("My Calvin Seminary Story") where poor leadership derailed my career.
Brilliant, Bold and [Mostly] Useful  Aug 16, 2006
Harvard University's Kellerman presents an amazing, research-focused vivisection of the many faces and roles of bad leadership, offers reasons for their occurrence, and exerts a clarion call for identification and eradication of same.

Kellerman identifies seven specific types of poor leading:
1) Incompetent: lacks the will or skill (or both) to sustain effective action with regard to at least one important leadership challenge
2) Rigid: stiff and unyielding; unable or unwilling to adapt to new ideas, new information, or a changing of the landscape
3) Intemperate: lacks self-control
4) Callous: uncaring or unkind; ignores or disregards the needs, wants, and wishes of others, especially subordinates
5) Corrupt: lies, cheats, or steals; puts self above any other interest
6) Insular: minimizes or disregards the health and welfare of anyone outside the group or organization for which they are directly responsible
7) Evil: outright disregard for even the human worth of others; egregious inhumanity.

As is common with Harvard B-School releases, the book is brilliant, innovative and analysis heavy. Prescriptions for change are succinct-- if you find this, kill it off-- yet limited in use: once found and destroyed, what do I do next?

Innovative and unflinching, it will be nevertheless most accessible to scholars and the scholarly among business leaders: a more populist rendering of the same discoveries, and prescriptions for improvement, would lift it far above the norm.

Coke Newell, MSPR, consultant and author, "Journey to Edaphica"
The Dark Side  Jul 1, 2006
The book stands out because it forces you to take a look at the dark side of leadership. It is about leadership in and of itself. The book has an entirely unique perspective on leadership. She looks at all leaders and how they measure up as leaders. Even if society views them as a bad leader she takes that and builds on some of their strengths as a leader, their weaknesses and not necessarily their intent. The actual process of leading is the focus. She also looks at the followers and their role in leadership. This I think is also unique to leadership. It is important to analyze the followers and how they can affect the leader. In looking at the dark side of leadership we are able to become better leaders and/or followers.
Excellent alternative perspective  Feb 8, 2006
This was very interesting and a fairly easy read. Looks at leadership away from the stereotypical definition of good. Adds to a big picture I had not seen anywhere before. Should be required reading for all management to help them see the bad guys they often miss or intentionally overlook in their organizations.

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