The one sentence summary

If you play the game right, you can move up the corporate ladder and stay there

Can’t be bothered to read it? Too much screen time lately? Listen to the 5-minute podcast in two parts.


  • This is a satirical book written under a pseudonym that pokes fun at the hypocrisy of today’s leadership discussion.
  • Contrary to what the pundits say, successful corporate leaders don’t worry too much about business results, but focus on managing their bosses, peers and Sherpas as a first priority.
  • The 11 winning leadership behaviours suggested are:
  1. The leadership mindset is BOO – Blind Overconfident Oblivion is an important prerequisite for every corporate leader, so you first need to firmly believe in your own greatness if you want others to believe in you.
  2. Communicate like a leader – the current gold standard in leadership communication is the “platitude-bullshit-lie” model. HOW you communicate beats WHAT you say big time.
  3. Play the status game – it is your status that really defines what you can achieve. As a high-status leader, you are expected to persistently ignore individuals’ ideas, thoughts, or emotions because people respect assholes.
  4. Attract the praise – leverage praise for your personal advancement and develop the forgotten art of skilfully blaming others when things go wrong.
  5. Always seem busy – use the time-management matrix to have other guys “stretch themselves”. Use techniques to demonstrate that you’re buzzing with activity when accepting phone calls or attending meetings. True leaders are actually not that busy but are experts in keeping others busy.
  6. Mix with the right people – belonging to the right tribe is a key ingredient of a very successful career. Join the right tribe because ingratiation is an important driver.
  7. Bond with the company values – company values are irrelevant to driving the business but can be crucial to boosting your career, so do everything you can to make others think you care about company values.
  8. Focus on the short term – long-term thinking is bullshit. You need to passionately TALK about strategy and long-term visions, but keep your energy focused on short-term objectives.
  9. Avoid breakthrough – great leaders must stay away from any non-mainstream project but need to TALK about breakthrough as often as possible. Always claim personal victory if someone else’s breakthrough project turns out well.
  10. Tell a great story – it pays for senior leaders to invent UBAs (Useless Bullshit Acronyms) like BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). Storytelling leadership is known as strategic planning.
  11. Silence critics – it is never your work that is being criticized; it is YOU as a person. Win/win does not work because there is no way you can compromise on status and egos so you need to sell win/lose in a convincing way.


  • Leadership is about a set of behaviours aimed at maintaining an illusion of skill in the absence of factual reasoning.
  • The paradox of leadership is the ability to be perfectly able to say one thing and do another thing without confusing yourself.
  • In matrix organizations, nothing gets done until someone prevails in the status battle.


  • The whole thing is a parody, so if you are a business leader, you might disagree with everything here and regard it as pure cynicism.