Sacred Bull: The Inner Obstacles That Hold You Back at Work and How to Overcome Them

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Wiley, Nov 3, 1994 - Business & Economics - 269 pages
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There's a little bull in all of us . . .

Sacred Bull shows how to recognize your own self-imposed "bull" and, most importantly, how to do something about it. Dr. Albert J. Bernstein and Sydney Craft Rozen's new book is a witty, perceptive, and effective guide to personal change in your work setting.

"Tried but can't break the bonds of self-limiting career behavior? With this breakthrough advice, you'll find that change has wings."—Joyce Lain Kennedy Careers Columnist Los Angeles Times Syndicate

"After thirty-five years in the world of business, this book made me recognize some of my own imperfections. No: Let's call them what they are: Sacred Bulls."—Roger Axtell Author of Do's and Taboos Around the World

A Main Selection of the Newbridge Executive Program

Did you ever notice how people at work "spin-doctor" themselves into believing things they wish were true but just aren't?—The perfectionist who micromanages everything. She never seems to make a mistake . . . unless you count the important market trends she always seems to miss.

The complainer who always knows where to fix the blame but never how to fix the problem.

The perpetually "nice" person. He thinks he avoids conflict by telling people what they want to hear. Too bad that avoiding a little conflict today paves the way for "the mother of all battles" tomorrow.

It's easy to spot these problems in other people, but not in yourself. Are you letting your own bull mess up your job, your relationships with coworkers, and your opportunity for advancement? Sacred Bull is a perceptive and highly useful book that enables you to sort out fact from fiction about your behavior on the job. It covers ten sacred bulls that may be standing in your way unrecognized as problems (perhaps they even masquerade as virtues).

  • DENIAL: If I ignore my problems, they'll go away.
  • BLIND SPOTS AND SHORTCUTS: What I don't like can't be important.
  • SELF-INTEREST: Always look out for Number One.
  • MIND-READING: People should know what I want without my telling them.
  • BLAME: If something goes wrong, it has to be somebody's fault.
  • BE NICE: Avoid conflict at all cost.
  • PERFECTION: If it's not perfect, it's nothing.
  • FAIRNESS: I don't need to negotiate for what I want; I should get what's coming to me without asking.
  • EXCUSES: There's always a good reason why I don't follow the rules everyone else works by.
  • BEING RIGHT ALL THE TIME: There's a right way and a wrong way—my way is right.

If the road to ruin is paved with good intentions, these Sacred Bulls hold the paving contract.

Sacred Bull, in its witty and perceptive commentary—enables all of us to take a useful and refreshing look at ourselves. Reading this book is an investment that will pay you many dividends.

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About the author (1994)

ALBERT J. BERNSTEIN is a business consultant and practicing psychotherapist. Dr. Bernstein is the coauthor of Dinosaur Brains: Dealing with All Those Impossible People at Work and Neanderthals at Work: How People and Politics Can Drive You Crazy... and What You Can Do About Them. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Luahna and their two children, Jessica and Joshua.

SYDNEY CRAFT ROZEN is the President of Midnight Writer, and is a professional writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Dinosaur Brains: Dealing with All Those Impossible People at Work and Neanderthals at Work: How People and Politics Can Drive You Crazy... and What You Can Do About Them and of Taming the Dragon in Your Child (with Meg Eastman). She lives in Bothell, Washington, with her husband Lee and their two children, Geoff and Amanda.

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