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Leadership books and seminars commonly open with anecdotal stories for engrossing the listener. A reason why these books and seminars are so popular, or even needed, is because the authors realize that employees naturally resist change, and that management will face a barrier every time they are the carriers of bad news such as job cuts, pay cuts, or reorganization where employees are negatively affected and forced into new positions or new duties. But the reliance on anecdotes and metaphors for success can backfire by making the employees feel underappreciated, or worse, insulted and manipulated.

At its core leadership is about understanding human nature. Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf, spoke about the “small measure of thinking power the broad masses possess,” thereby reminding us that understanding human nature is also an essential key to controlling it. This book is not so much about leadership per se, as it is about how to think about leadership by learning to ask the appropriate questions and learning to find the appropriate answers. It explores the strengths and weaknesses of leadership propaganda, motivational sayings, and groupthink.

The material in this book is excerpted from the previously published book, Leadership, It Ain’t Rocket Science: A Critical Analysis of Moving with the Cheese and Other Motivational Leadership Bullshit, also by Martina Sprague.

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