Great New Reads: Tipping Sacred Cows

UPDATED: May 22, 2023
PUBLISHED: February 20, 2013

Release Date: March

Jossey-Bass; $25.95

Sometimes sacred cows really are sacred. Sometimes they’re just cows standing in the way of progress and advancement. Jake Breeden, who teaches for Duke Corporate Education, believes it’s time to put some of these cows—seven to be exact—out to pasture for good.

Think creativity, balance and collaboration are all indisputable virtues? Not according to Breeden.

Creativity may conceal narcissism. A passion for work may turn into an obsession. Focusing on fairness can backfire. Over-preparation can be a cover for indecisiveness or resistance to change.

Breeden offers advice on how to resist the bad habits masquerading as virtues and avoid the potentially career-limiting effects of the most common sacred cows. Although you might not agree with every attitude adjustment Breeden suggests, the book will definitely change your thinking.

What are your bad work habits? Breeden offers these questions to help you discover:

1. Which is worse?

    a. ignoring one of my priorities

    b. missing a team meeting to get my own work done

2. Which do you prefer?

    a. the days when I create something new

    b. the days when I live a balanced life

3. I would rather be perceived as:

    a. well-rounded

    b. expert

Take the 21-question survey to find out which of the seven sacred cows described in Tipping Sacred Cows stand in your way at work.