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The Bellwether Effect: Stop Following. Start Inspiring!

The Bellwether Effect: Stop Following. Start Inspiring!


In The Bellwether Effect, Dr. Secretan first proposes a theory that explains how and why leaders are attracted to, and seduced by, trendy ideas, and the process by which these ideas then become mainstream. He calls the originators of these trends, “bellwethers”, hence the book’s title.  He then goes on to describe eight examples of counterproductive business practices, among them, fear-based management, motivation, separateness and silos, employee engagement surveys, performance appraisals, salary grades and pay scales, mission, vision, and values statements, and the use of war as a metaphor for business. In each case, Dr. Secretan proposes a novel and inspiring alternative that could lead to transformation and an inspiring culture.

We have lost our passion for corporate life. During Lance Secretan’s presentations to audiences, he often asks them this question: “What percentage of the population do you think would leave the corporate world and pursue different interests if they had a completely free hand?” Like an auction, he starts at 50% and the audience will typically raise the offer until they settle at an estimate of something more than 80%. Why is this a tragedy? Because, apart from the human anguish and suffering it causes, we live in a capitalist society, one of whose main engines (besides the church and government) is commerce, and if we botch this critical source of livelihood and exchange, we risk losing everything. So this is not an inconsequential issue—and it is time to reset our beliefs about what really matter in corporate life.

 If you have ever wondered, “Why are we doing this?”, or “Is there a better way to do this?”, or, “How can we create a more inspiring corporate culture?”, then this is the book for you, because it offers crisp, insightful ways to propel organizations from “engaged” to “inspired”.

The Bellwether Effect” not only provides terrific practical advice for leaders in rethinking routine, it also challenges leaders to be courageous in evolving the way they lead and manage teams.  Like all previous generations of workers, today’s workforce is looking for leaders that inspire and teach, and for organizations that serve a bigger purpose beyond shareholder returns.  Insightful read that shows how each of us can be a force for change in work and life.”

Bruce D. Broussard, President & CEO, Humana Inc.

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