Jake Breeden

Books by Jake Breeden

tipping sacred cows: kick the bad work habits that masquerade as virtues

We are all well-acquainted with the sacred cows of the workplace: the conventional wisdom to try hard, work well with others, and focus on producing excellent work. These are cherished nuggets of advice, but in practice, they have a dark side -- blind, unthinking pursuit of these goals leads to inefficiency and a slew of unintended consequences. How can any manager upend conventional wisdom, identify and avoid the dangerous behaviors that masquerade as virtues in traditional work culture, and ultimately lead in the smartest, most productive way possible?   Based on the authors extensive coaching experience in Dukes Executive Education programas well as on the latest scientific research in behavioral economics, neuroscience and psychologyTipping Sacred Cows reveals a simple set of steps to avoid the unintended consequences of the various sacred cows that backfire at work. Breeden examines the seven business virtues that can turn into the most powerful, hidden and damaging sacred cows. In their manifestation as sacred cows, these seven qualities show up in workplaces around the world, in every industry, and at every level of leadership. Each has a well-deserved reputation for being good and virtuous. They are the most frequently advocated, widely beloved, and least frequently questioned orthodoxies at work.They are:   Balance: Attempting to be all things to all people, without deciding to be anything truly meaningful and distinctive to anyone. Collaboration: Holding too many team meetings and creating a culture of learned helplessness with little individual empowerment and accountability. Creativity: Wasting time and money coming up with an unneeded new idea but ignoring the bottom line. Excellence: Too much investment in producing perfect work instead of developing the quick and dirty solution needed now. Passion: Racing down a path seeking success brings burn-out and disappointment instead. Fairness: Sabotaging each other to ensure no one gets more than their fair share. Preparation: Wasting time in long planning sessions instead of productively working out just-in-time solutions with just the right people.   For each of the seven most common sacred cows, Breeden offers 3 simple strategies for overcoming their allure and achieving real results. Tipping Sacred Cows wont advocate that we slaughter sacred cows. Rather it argues that to save these time-tested values by upending the shrouds of conventional wisdom that bog them down. Tipping Sacred Cows shines a light on the hidden traps that lie between good intentions and good results, clearing a path so readers can finally realize their fullest potential at work.  


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