This is a case of biting the hand that feeds. That requires courage that I admire. Barbara Kellerman is the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her conclusion is that business leadership education is very successful in generating income for the "leadership industry" but produces dismal results when it comes to delivering competent business leaders.
She is right that trust in the leaders of business had been declining to very low levels amongst their employees and society at large as proven by many surveys she presents and also very evident in the recent Edelman Trust barometer 2012.
Even though I disagree on some points, I still awarded the book five stars, and recommend it to all that are responsible for management and leadership development. Barbara credibly presents, as an insider, the causes of the problem and that is the only sound basis for reforming business leadership development.
I disagree with her conclusions that there will be "an end to leadership" and "that ` the leader' is all-important is simply passé." I do agree that the job of CEO has become more challenging, as she describes. However only competent CEOs can restore trust in business.
I also disagree that nothing is known about what should be done. Most large companies have proclaimed "our values" that describe how they will act in relationships with their employees, customers/clients, suppliers, shareholders, society at large and the environment. The problem is that they to do not act in accordance with these stated values. Most do not take the trouble to find out what those groups think about their performance on the application of these values. They do not want to know the reality. Knowing the reality should be the basis of actions to restore trust amongst the people that are impacted by their actions. That requires moral convictions, courage, patience and perseverance.