In his 2010 Harvard Business Review article, Jeffrey Pfeffer made an astute observation about many leadership books when he stated:
“Most books by well-known executives and many lectures and courses about leadership should be stamped “Caution: This material can be hazardous to your organizational survival.” That’s because many leaders touting their careers as models to be emulated gloss over the power plays they used to get to the top. The teaching on leadership is filled with prescriptions about following your inner compass, being truthful, letting your feelings show, being modest and self-effacing, not behaving in bullying or abusive ways – in short, prescriptions that reflect how people wish those in positions of power behaved. There is no doubt that the world would be a much better place if people were always authentic, modest, truthful, and concerned about others, instead of simply pursuing their own aims. But wishing that’s how people behaved won’t make it so.” (p. 88)
Pfeffer, J. (2010). Power play. Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 84-92.