Summary of Tipping Sacred Cows

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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

Leadership coach Jake Breeden issues an iconoclastic warning that “balance, excellence, creativity, fairness, passion, preparation and collaboration” – all sacred cows – can damage those who milk them too faithfully. Though he flies in the face of common wisdom and long-espoused business-world values, Breeden explains more credibly than you might expect how some admirable qualities can impede your progress and blind you to your foibles. Parenthetically, Breeden disagrees with a few other sacred cows. For example, he takes on the canonical In Search of Excellence for its unrelenting emphasis on excellence alone. He also finds inspiration in many places, from the Four Seasons hotel to the words of author David Foster Wallace. The sans-serif type distracts a bit from the pleasant read, good flow, interesting examples and doable strategies. Breeden makes a strong, logical case, buttressed by research. getAbstract thinks his work will resonate with most readers and recommends his freethinking treatise to those who’d like to actualize their values in real functionality and to balance admirable intentions with concrete results.

About the Author

Executive leadership coach Jake Breeden is a “global faculty” member at Duke Corporate Education, which provides custom corporate education.

 

Summary

Sacred Cows

Goa is a resort town in India. Its ancient name – Gomanta – means “region of cows.” Cows are considered sacred animals in India. In Goa, they wander at will through the city streets, adorned with necklaces and strings of flowers made by adoring worshippers. The incessant cow traffic creates problems for the drivers who are trying to navigate Goa’s city streets.

Similarly, in Western society, sacred cows – revered ideas that people never question – can obstruct progress and the smooth flow of ideas. Conventional business wisdom offers seven sacred cows – “balance, excellence, creativity, fairness, passion, preparedness and collaboration” – that supposedly all good citizens should bring to their work. People generally regard these ideas as cardinal virtues because they deliver real value and provide a moral compass. But sometimes, as with Goa’s cows, they can create unintended negative consequences, including wasted time, annoyance, poor performance and emotional exhaustion. India’s sacred cows are easy to spot, so people avoid them. Every evolved adult should learn to avoid these sacred cows as well:

“Bland Balance” Versus “Bold Balance”

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    T. L. 5 years ago
    Excellent.
  • Avatar
    A. H. 5 years ago
    cool
  • Avatar
    F. D. 6 years ago
    thanks
  • Avatar
    T. Q. 6 years ago
    nice
  • Avatar
    A. S. 6 years ago
    thanks
  • Avatar
    T. M. 6 years ago
    This is good stuff...thought provoking, if your smart, you'd read this summary a least once a year.
  • Avatar
    C. T. 6 years ago
    Somewhat informative. Reads like most self-help books.
  • Avatar
    A. f. 6 years ago
    Not quite what I imagined it would be. Need to check more abstracts ( this is the first one I have looked at).
  • Avatar
    J. G. 6 years ago
    Good book and is having useful Tips
  • Avatar
    J. H. 6 years ago
    great
  • Avatar
    K. W. 6 years ago
    thanks
  • Avatar
    J. P. 6 years ago
    short
  • Avatar
    N. G. 6 years ago
    far to short
  • Avatar
    W. C. 6 years ago
    Too short
  • Avatar
    R. J. 6 years ago
    did not find informing
  • Avatar
    C. M. 6 years ago
    nice
  • Avatar
    T. T. 6 years ago
    estupendo
  • Avatar
    H. P. 6 years ago
    Nice
  • Avatar
    T. A. 6 years ago
    great
  • Avatar
    R. B. 6 years ago
    good
  • Avatar
    J. M. 6 years ago
    i think so
  • Avatar
    M. N. 6 years ago
    very nice i love it
  • Avatar
    S. S. 6 years ago
    very nice
  • Avatar
    S. S. 6 years ago
    this book is really nice
  • Avatar
    D. K. 6 years ago
    cool
  • Avatar
    A. B. 6 years ago
    not very helpful