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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.