Summary of The Taboos of Leadership

The 10 Secrets No One Will Tell You About Leaders and What They Really Think

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The Taboos of Leadership book summary
Most leaders are selfish, charismatic, political, lonely and driven – and that’s the good news about leadership’s taboos.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

9 Style


Anthony F. Smith discusses common workforce taboos that can create organizational problems for leaders. These taboos – from sensitive subjects like nepotism or sexism to sacred corporate myths like the superhuman CEO – provoke such strong reactions that many people can’t even discuss them or admit the truth about them. Emotion simply stands in the way. Smith does a good job of helping leaders see both sides of these issues and explains how failure to address them may be holding back your organization. He offers hints about ways to discuss them constructively. Even if you don’t act on all these issues, you will benefit from being more aware of them and their ramifications. getAbstract recommends this book to leaders who want to avoid being blindsided by sacred cows and shibboleths. If it isn’t a must-read, it is certainly a should-read.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How office taboos can block discussion and prevent change
  • Which 10 taboos are most common
  • How an executive’s view of work-life balance differs from a regular employee’s
  • Why executives often fail to groom successors


Taboos and Your Leadership Role
You know that you cannot discuss certain emotion-laden topics in your workplace. However, avoiding touchy issues carries a cost. Leaders need to weigh every factor that affects their organizations. Convention, fads, political correctness and cultural inertia...
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About the Author

Writer and researcher Anthony F. Smith has contributed to many books and periodicals. He is the co-founder and managing director of the Leadership Research Institute.

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