Ep 54. Jeff Pfeffer: Leadership B.S.
Many leaders tell wonderful stories -- about themselves and about how they would like to be seen -- which bear almost no resemblance to the realities of how they lead and how they conduct themselves.
Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he has taught since 1979. He is the author or co-author of 14 books on topics including power in organizations, managing people, evidence-based management and author of more than 150 articles and book chapters. Professor Pfeffer has won numerous awards for his scholarly research. He spoke with Stew about his latest book, Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, and what changes are needed in the “leadership industry.”
In this episode, Stew and Jeff discuss the failures of modern leaders. Instead of showing virtues like honesty, authenticity, and modesty, many leaders show only narcissism and greed. These leaders are not promoting the greater good of their organizations, let alone our society. One of the great scholars of organizations, Jeff asks challenge questions, like why are executives held accountable for their environmental impact but not for their impact on employee well-being? One relevant example discussed here is Amazon’s company culture under CEO Jeff Bezos. Click here for the transcript.