Anthony F. Smith The Taboos of Leadership  
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The Taboos of Leadership, by Anthony F. Smith
“This may be the most honest book on leadership to date.”
—Larry Probst III, CEO, Electronic Arts

“Those who write about leadership are sometimes hesitant to face the truth or acknowledge the messy stuff that fills up a leader's day...Tony hasn't shied away from any of that...this may be the first non-fiction book about leadership that I've encountered.”
—Steven M. Bornstein, CEO, NFL Media and former President, ESPN and ABC Television






What people are saying about The Taboos of Leadership:

“This may be the most honest book on leadership to date.”
--Larry Probst III, CEO, Electronic Arts

“Those who write about leadership are sometimes hesitant to face the truth or acknowledge the messy stuff that fills up a leader's day . . . Tony hasn't shied away from any of that . . . this may be the first non-fiction book about leadership that I've encountered."
--Steven M. Bornstein, CEO, NFL Media and former President, ESPN and ABC Television

“Peter Drucker said, ‘I observe what is visible, but not yet seen,’ and that’s what Tony Smith does in The Taboos of Leadership. In a world where leadership books all start to sound alike, this one stands out!”
--Marshall Goldsmith, Author of Leader of the Future and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“Having worked with Tony for nearly 20 years, I can tell you that his research, teaching, and insights into leadership have had a remarkable impact on me and our leadership at McKinsey & Company. It has been a pleasure working with him, and you will find it a pleasure reading this very rare and insightful book on this very important subject.”
--J. McLean Stewart, Senior Director (ret), McKinsey & Company

“Leadership is a much-discussed but little understood concept. Tony Smith calls on a lifetime of research and experience to take the discussion into a refreshing new direction. By focusing on the importance of two-way communication and understanding, Tony delivers a deeper, richer picture of leadership and a road map for improving the performance of any organization.”
--Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner (ret), National Football League

“By examining the role of leadership as a psychoanalyst would a troubled patient, Dr. Anthony Smith not only uncovers the root causes of rampant disorders in the postmodern corporate world, he also prescribes a series of groundbreaking changes that are at once brilliant and startling. Nothing is sacred in this book. Myths are exploded, taboos are broken, and the result is a revelation of common sense long barred from the boardroom.”
--Mark Shapiro, President and CEO, Six Flags, Inc.

“For those of us who have led big companies, we rarely find those on the ‘outside’ who understand the real challenges of leadership. Tony Smith is one of those rare individuals who has made it his life study to understand what it really takes to lead. This book is filled with insight, strategies, and compelling examples of the challenges we all face as leaders.”
--Robert C. Nakasone, retired CEO, Toys “R” Us

“Tony Smith is a keen observer who gets to the heart of leadership challenges and approaches. I especially appreciate that someone with his insight also has the courage to reveal the truth of leadership in this refreshing book.”
--George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN and ABC Sports; Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks

“Dr. Tony Smith has a unique ability to take the theories and history of leadership and turn them into practical application. His in-depth knowledge and perspective enabled me to understand where my leadership skills were successful, and importantly where they were not. I was lucky to have had Tony as a teacher for so many years. He gave me a deep understanding of what motivated people and how I could be most effective, and he has done the same here in this novel book. I am luckier today to call him friend.”
--Joseph D. Gutman, Managing Director, Grosvenor Capital Management; former Senior Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

“Tony Smith gives us a refreshing look at the reality, not the rhetoric of leadership. Great lessons for today’s leaders and those who want to be leaders.”
--Jerome C. Vascellero, Partner, the Texas Pacific Group and Director Emeriti, McKinsey and Company, Inc.

“My first reaction to this book, was ‘Oh no, another book by a leadership consultant’. By the time I was halfway through, I thought Tony’s years of coaching others has provided him with keen insights into the many strategies needed to address the complex, ill-defined nature of the problems that leaders face. Those issues require adaptive thinking and in challenging us with facing these taboos, I feel that Dr. Smith was reading my mind. I strongly encourage women leaders to read The Taboos of Leadership!”
--Dr. Paula A. Cordeiro, Dean, School of Leadership and Education Science, University of San Diego

“In this insightful book, Tony Smith tackles head on tough controversial issues that are seldom acknowledged and even more rarely discussed. His observations and experiences are very additive to leadership learning.”
--Suzanne Nora Johnson, Former Vice Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

“I have had the privilege of listening and learning from a number of ‘leadership experts’ in my career, and I think Tony Smith is one of the best. This is why I have brought him into every organization that I have led. His provocative insights, counsel, and unvarnished feedback that I have valued over the years are reflected here in The Taboos of Leadership! A must read for anyone who is truly interested in the field of leadership.”
--Chuck Griffith, Executive Director, Arcapita Inc. and former CEO of Ingersoll Dresser

". . . a useful call for leadership advocates to balance their natural optimism with realism."
--Harvard Business Review, June 2007

". . . Smith presents a book that should create a healthy form of controversy . . . This is what makes Taboos of Leadership an important book. It addresses issues that are almost certainly on the minds of today’s leaders without forcing the executive to open him-or-her self up to criticism by bringing up potentially problematic scenarios. What separates Smith from his contemporaries is the fact that he is unapologetic about exploiting the taboos discussed in his book."
--Soundview Executive Book Summaries, April 2007

". . . Smith’s book is both gutsy and enjoyable . . . I recommend The Taboos of Leadership not because it provides the last word on various issues, but because, in some respects, it gives the first.", Michael Wade, May 2007

". . . Most workers don’t understand what their leaders have done to get where they are, or what they sacrifice once they arrive. After two decades as a management consultant, Smith has found that senior executives avoid talking about their job; consequently, their employees never know about their issues."
--Investor’s Business Daily, Michael Mink, May, 2007

". . . Mr. Smith’s new book on the subject is a home run of honesty on the topic. The author’s credentials as a co-founder of a leading management consulting firm place him in the midst of the mind sets and egos of business leaders. If you’re yearning to climb the corporate ladder or in school for business, read this behind the scene’s look at business. Definitely a stage that has rarely been written about so honestly.", Mark Nash, 2007

". . . In this emperor-has-no-clothes expose, Smith attempts to get into the heads of the powerful, reveal what goes on there and develop strategies for the inferiors who must cope with them . . . the message, ultimately, is to speak up and look out."
--Publisher Weekly, May 2007

". . . Five Stars! Very strongly recommended reading for anyone holding or being considered for a leadership role in an organization . . . Articulate, informative, superbly organized and presented, The Taboos of Leadership is strongly recommended."
--Midwest Book Review, Oregon WI, July 2007

". . . I’ve long believed that focus and hard work can help just about anybody become an effective leader. [This] provocative new book, however takes issue with this conviction . . . Smith contends that the public has been sold a bill of goods on leadership. We’ve come to the point where we want everyone to be a leader. But, just because we want that, it doesn’t mean it can happen. Leadership is exceedingly messy and difficult, and few people can actually pull it off. That’s why he wrote this book -- to 'divulge the secrets that no one will say about leaders.' This is a great book . . ."
--Jim M. Citrin, Coauthor of the International Best-Selling book, The Five Patterns of Extraordinary Careers and You’re in Charge -- Now What

"The Taboos of Leadership may startle you at first glance because of its blunt content! It is unlike most modern books on the leadership because it opens issues and discussions rarely addressed . . . If you are willing to confront some uncomfortable realities of modern organizations and leadership, you will find this book fascinating and revealing . . . Highly Recommended!"
--weLEAD Book Review,, 7/07

". . .Through his frame of reference, that of executive coach and advocate, he adds great value to our understanding of the realities of leadership . . . his observations that “leaders who are successful never quite fit the theories we apply to them and are always messier and more complex than we would predict” is quite true. It is an aspect that is missing from or far to understated in most leadership literature . . . Smith suggests: 'Perhaps we should know, or at least recognize, the risk-reward ratio of leadership a little better before we judge our leaders, or decide to become one ourselves.' That point can’t be emphasized enough . . . One of the Best leadership books to be released . . ."
--LeadershipNow, April 2007


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The Taboos of Leadership
by Anthony Smith

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