Leadership from Bad to Worse: What Happens When Bad Festers (Hardcover)

Leadership from Bad to Worse: What Happens When Bad Festers By Barbara Kellerman Cover Image
Email or call for price.


Leadership from Bad to Worse is about how leadership that is bad, invariably, inexorably, gets worse--unless it is somehow, by someone or something, stopped or slowed. The process of going from bad to worse tends to be steady, as opposed to hasty. But once bad burrows in, it digs in. It digs in deeper and then deeper, making it difficult finally to extract or excise without getting rid of whoever and whatever is involved.

This work draws on four cases of bad leadership--two in political leadership, two in business leadership--to show how it goes from bad to worse. Kellerman finds that bad leadership and bad followership go through four phases of development: 1) Onward and Upward; 2) Followers Join In; 3) Leaders Start In; and 4) Bad to Worse.

These findings correctly suggest that the book, in addition to being of theoretical interest, is of practical import. It is intended, deliberately, to serve as an early warning system. By breaking bad leadership and followership into phases--each more ominous and ultimately dangerous than the one preceding--their progression will be easier to predict and detect. And easier, therefore, to slow or, preferably, to stop before they turn toxic.

Bad leadership is a social disease. But unlike diseases that are physical or psychological, it remains at the margins of our collective concerns. Leadership from Bad to Worse is, then, a corrective. Knowing that bad leadership can be checked before it corrupts is knowing that bad and then worse can be, if not completely precluded, then sometimes short-circuited.

About the Author

Barbara Kellerman was Founding Executive Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School; the School's James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Leadership; and a member of the Harvard faculty for over twenty years. She is currently a Fellow at the Center. Kellerman has held professorships at Fordham, Tufts, Fairleigh Dickinson, George Washington, Uppsala, and Christopher Newport Universities, as well as at Dartmouth and its Tuck School of Business. Kellerman is author and editor of twenty books on leadership/followership.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780197759271
ISBN-10: 0197759270
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English