Leadership from Bad to Worse: What Happens When Bad Festers

Oxford Univ. Mar. 2024. 240p. ISBN 9780197759271. $29.99. BUS
Prolific leadership writer Kellerman (The Enablers) offers a fresh perspective on bad leadership and bad followership in business and politics, how bad leadership invariably gets worse and worse, and how these phenomena now inextricably link democracy with a capitalistic economy. Kellerman explains four phases of this sad development, each worse than before, and offers an early-warning system for preventing further encroachment on the principles of free democracy and legitimate capitalism. Her book covers both the public and private sectors and includes case studies of four people—the former CEOs of Volkswagen and Theranos and the presidents of Turkey and China—who exemplify her idea of bad leadership. Kellerman offers 12 pragmatic suggestions to lessen the leadership problem, but she wisely explains that bad leadership can be corrected only by active intervention to prevent the further complicity of followers who enable bad leaders.
VERDICT This work nicely addresses the chaos that afflicts government and business and emphasizes the troubling increased support of today’s demagogues. It’s a reminder that the time to turn from this dangerous path is quickly running out. Essential for libraries supporting political science and business curricula.
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