CHAPTER ONE

Claiming the Bad Side

WHEN HE WAS INSTALLED as president of Harvard University in October 2001, Lawrence Summers delivered a speech in which he declared that “in this new century, nothing will matter more than the education of future leaders and the development of new ideas.”1 In this single sentence the new head of Harvard made at least two important assumptions: that people can be educated in ways that relate to being leaders, and in ways that relate to being good leaders.

This kind of positive thinking explains why leadership education has become a big business. The “leadership industry”—so tagged because in recent years it has grown so big so fast—is dedicated to the proposition that leadership is a subject that should be studied ...

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