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Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters Hardcover – Sept. 1 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

"How," asks Kellerman, "will we ever stop what we refuse to see and study?" Research director of the Center for Public Leadership and lecturer in public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Kellerman focuses in opening chapters on the nature of leadership, the rise of a "leadership industry," the complicit role of followers, the definition of bad leadership and reasons for its occurrence. Kellerman's style combines the direct prose of the boardroom with the erudition of the classroom; relevant citations abound, from Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes to Newsweek and Washington Monthly. Kellerman posits seven "types" of bad leadership and devotes a chapter containing a few brief examples and one detailed analysis to each. Drawing from the corporate, nonprofit, government and public opinion sectors, she examines instances of incompetence, rigidity, intemperance, callousness, corruption, insularity and even evil. Her focus isn't limited to individual behavior; context and the actions of followers are also considered. For example, the International Olympic Committee is faulted as much as its former president for scandals and commercialism that have sometimes undermined the games. High-level cabinet members, prominent legislators and the nation as a whole share the blame for the Clinton administration's failure to intervene in Rwanda's genocide. The stories, and Kellerman's final section of correctives, are complex and nuanced; there are no easy answers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Bound for the top of the business best-sellers lists--at least in terms of the controversy it will generate--Harvard lecturer Kellerman's book argues cogently, compellingly, and with an amazing clarity for the identification of bad leadership and, then, for its removal. Too long has the concept of leadership been viewed only in shades of white within America--and, thus, too long have we denied the existence of bad leadership. Neither are followers excused, for they, too, have a real culpability, asserts Kellerman. Types fall into seven categories, either ineffective or unethical, and include incompetent, rigid, intemperate, callous, corrupt, insular, and evil. And for each, she selects one recent example on which to focus, in addition to minor players, from former Mattel CEO Jill Barad and Reverend Jesse Jackson to Jim Jones and Saddam Hussein. As any good academic problem solver, she lists those corrections necessary for leaders and followers to adopt. The real question is, Will this book be ignored? Hopefully not. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harvard Business Review Press; 1st edition (Sept. 1 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1591391660
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1591391661
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 596 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.88 x 2.54 x 23.5 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

About the author

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Barbara Kellerman is the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She was the Founding Executive Director of the Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership, from 2000 to 2003; and from 2003 to 2006 she served as the Center's Research Director. Kellerman has held professorships at Fordham, Tufts, Fairleigh Dickinson, George Washington, and Uppsala Universities. She also served as Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Fairleigh Dickinson, and as Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Leadership at the Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland.

Kellerman received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, and her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. (1975, in Political Science) degrees from Yale University. She was awarded a Danforth Fellowship and three Fulbright fellowships. At Uppsala (1996-97), she held the Fulbright Chair in American Studies. Kellerman was cofounder of the International Leadership Association (ILA), and is author and editor of many books including Leadership: Multidisciplinary Perspectives; The Political Presidency: Practice of Leadership; and Reinventing Leadership: Making the Connection Between Politics and Business. She has appeared often on media outlets such as CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, NPR, Reuters and BBC, and has contributed articles and reviews to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and the Harvard Business Review.

Her most recent books are Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters (2004); a co-edited (with Deborah Rhode) volume, Women & Leadership: State of Play and Strategies for Change (2007); and Followership: How Followers are Creating Change and Changing Leaders (2008). Kellerman speaks to audiences around the world, including in recent years Berlin, London, Moscow, Rome, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, Zurich, Jerusalem, Turin, Toronto, and Montreal. She is on the Advisory Board of the Leadership Research Network, on the Advisory Panel of the White House Leadership Project Report, on the editorial Board of Leadership Quarterly, and on the Publications Committee of the International Leadership Association. She is ranked by Forbes.com as among "Top 50 Business Thinkers" (2009) and by Leadership Excellence in top 15 of 100 "best minds on leadership." Her next book, Leadership: Essential Selections on Power, Authority, and Influence, will be published in March 2010 by McGraw-Hill.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
89 global ratings

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