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Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits that Masquerade as Virtues Hardcover – March 4, 2013
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Breeden's work identifies the seven most common sacred cows at work--including balance that turns bland and passion that becomes obsession--and how to overcome them. Whatever the profession or discipline, it's a pretty safe bet that your company, or your client's company, is making many of these mistakes right now. Correcting them can go a long way--even all the way to the bottom line. - Consulting Magazine
From the Inside Flap
We all know the "sacred cows" that are revered in the workplacethe conventional wisdom to try your best, work well with others, and produce excellent work. But these cherished nuggets of advice, in practice, have a dark side that can lead to career-limiting, unintended consequences.
Based on Jake Breeden's experience coaching thousands of leaders in 27 countries and on the latest research in behavioral economics, neuroscience, and psychology, Tipping Sacred Cows reveals what it takes to overcome the dangerous behaviors that masquerade as virtues at work and how you can lead with fewer self-imposed limitations and greater results. In this groundbreaking book, Breeden identifies the dark side of the seven most common sacred cows at work:
Balance: Disguising indecision as a bland compromise that attempts to achieve many things but ends up accomplishing nothing
Collaboration: Creating a culture of learned helplessness with little individual empowerment and accountability
Creativity: Wasting time and money coming up with new ideas because it feels good, not because it's needed
Excellence: Spending too much energy producing perfect work instead of developing the quick-and-dirty solution needed now
Fairness: Keeping score and evening the score to make sure no one gets more than their "fair share"
Passion: Racing down a path seeking success only to find burn-out and misbehavior instead
Preparation: Planning to do work instead of productively working out just-in-time solutions with just the right people
For each of these seven sacred cows, Breeden offers proven, powerful strategies for how you can overcome their allure and achieve real results.
Tipping Sacred Cows shines a light on the hidden traps that lie between good intentions and good results, clearing a path so you can finally realize your fullest potential at work.
Check out a quick Q & A (PDF) with the author.
Top Customer Reviews
Some of the most valuable material in this book is provided when Breeden rigorously examines seven virtues that often become potentially lethal business paradoxes that are separate but interdependent. They involve, respectively, bland/bold balance, automatic/accountable collaboration, narcissistic/useful creativity, process/outcome excellence, outcome/process fairness, obsessive/harmonious passion, and backstage/onstage preparation. He devotes a separate chapter to each and details are best revealed within the narrative, in context.Read more ›
It's an unusually useful business book. And unusually well written.
The chapters each have something specific to say with at least four sources of punch to bolster the chapter's big-idea; opinion, example, real-world-metaphor, scientific research papers with girth ... and so on.
These multivariate perspectives are specifically illustrating and focusing on the main idea of the chapter. It's all written conversationally and briefly. I congratulate the Jake Breeden for completely bringing theory and reality together for us mere mortals to read. This is a very elegant bit of literature.
I'm particularly impressed with author's extreme effort to be NOT full of himself. And if some bit of arrogance sneaks out, he taps it with a grin and some self deprecating humor.
The chapters of each cow have great resonance in style and content. An inspiration to me for sure.
Great work. A big eye opener. And well worth the money. (AND A FUN READ)
He sometimes openly challenge some wildly popular books. I've read some books feeling jilted for sure. And it is refreshing to hear an authority make some jabs.
I really enjoyed hearing the author state "I am a vicious anti-zealot!" in a Google YouTube video. Made me laugh, and makes me think every time I feel something zealous about to come out of my face.
Great work with pragmatic sincerity.
Thanks Thanks Thanks.
The most obvious example of the latter is 'Total Quality Management,' the rage in the early 1990s. The epitome of good management was reportedly embodied within the practices of those firms that won the Baldrige Award. Unfortunately, followers soon became aware of eg. Wallace Company, award-winner in 1990 that filed for bankruptcy in early 1992. Motorola was an original winner (1988), and subsequently lost billions with its Iridium satellite venture, was broken up and sold off, Xerox (1989) has declined significantly due to its inadequate response to the rise of much cheaper PC laser printers, Milliken (1989) was largely forced out of its mainstay business of rug manufacturing by Asian imports, Cadillac (1990) has suffered from poor quality and strong competitors from Japan and Europe, Solectron (1997) began losing money in 2003 and was acquired by Singapore-based competitor Flextronics in 2007 after its stock had fallen 93% from 2000 levels, etc.
Similar results followed firms highlighted in Peters and Waterman's 1982 'In Search of Excellence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There's nothing "wrong" with the advice or precepts presented in this book, but it all struck me as kind of obvious. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Joy Morgan
The table of contents clearly shows the organization of the book, labeling the sacred cows and indicating how they can actually be kept standing up, not tipped. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Beesusie
This is the first book I've ever felt so strongly about that I feel I must warn you: Don't waste your time! Read morePublished on May 23, 2014 by dg sciacqua
There are many business management and leadership books out there. Most are interesting, but few are practical to put into daily practice. Read morePublished on April 29, 2014 by Jerry Sanchez
I bought this book because it was mentioned in an article in Psychology Today. I did not want to pay a new price for the book, so I found this vendor. Read morePublished on October 18, 2013 by sam newman
I enjoyed this book - it gives a fresh perspective on how to avoid carrying a good approach, strength, or perspective too far. Read morePublished on October 3, 2013 by Shadowpup
While sitting in a waiting room, I noticed this book on a coffee table. I was attracted by the cover an title, mostly curiosity to be honest. Read morePublished on August 11, 2013 by malom
"Tipping Sacred Cows" was a surprisingly refreshing business book that takes a different approach than other books of this type. Read morePublished on July 4, 2013 by booktalk29
Educational leaders are not just promoted teachers, they should be leaders who need the same training as any other leader. Read morePublished on July 2, 2013 by DB