Sins And CEOs

A high-profiled consultant and venture capitalist, Richard A. Moran works with hundreds of the top executives who run corporate America. As he knows from experience, most of them aren’t heartless egomaniacs like “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap or crooks like Kenneth Lay, Bernard Ebbers, and John Rigas. “CEOs are not bad people,” Moran stresses, acknowledging the challenges of making the right decisions in a highly complicated world under pressure to please everyone from Wall Street analysts to their board members, employees, suppliers, and customers to their own families. “Sometimes they just don’t understand that their thoughtless, inelegant, or sinful actions may have drastic implications for everyone around them.”

In his new book, Sins and CEOs: Lessons from Leaders and Losers, That Will Change Your Career, by Richard A. Moran with a Foreword by John Hofmeister, points out the peccadilloes that pervade the workplace and wreak havoc. Through the telling of true stories (but keeping company and CEO names private to protect individuals, share prices, and his future employment), he addresses nine common offenses, including sins of omission, which are easier to hide and justify, as well as the most egregious intentional sins. While indicting business leaders, Moran makes clear that we are all CEOs—that is, everyone is in charge of something, whether it’s a department, project team, volunteer committee, or family unit—and we are all guilty.

Advance Praise for Sins and CEOs

“The villains and heroes Moran brings to life could be in a video game involving deer hunters and street warfare. The fact that these are true stories involving leaders only make the stories more compelling. A great read, full of lessons about contemporary organizations.”

—Greg Ballard, Senior Vice President, Digital Games, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment Former CEO, GluMobile

“Rich Moran is the Will Rogers of the business world. He’s a highly experienced and credentialed professional and also a witty humorist, as oxymoronic as those two things might sound. If there were such a thing as business vaudeville, Rich would be its star attraction. He has the gift of pointing out the absurdities of organizational life that is at once tragically funny and funnily tragic. He’s got a wry, down-home style, a very keen eye for the bizarre details of the office, and he loves poking fun at execu- tives, especially CEOs, but in a way that makes even them laugh out loud. Seriously. Sins and CEOs is his funniest, most poignant, and instructive book yet. Instructive because each of the tales he tells have some very serious morals at the end, and they really do teach important lessons. Rich’s anecdotes will entertain you on your next plane trip across the country and back, but you’d better keep a tight hold on the book. Your seat mate will try to steal it from you, because you’re having too good a time reading it. I know these are tough times and we ought to be terribly serious about business, but you really must take the time to read this book. It’d be a sin if you didn’t.”

—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge

“I can think of a few hundred CEOs who will read this book to see if they are guilty as charged. I can think of a few thousand CEOs who could benefit from reading this book. I can think of a few million careers that could be improved by paying attention to Moran’s ideas on avoiding sins.”

—J. David Martin, former Chairman & CEO Young Presidents Organization (YPO)

“Sins and CEOs is a fun, easy read. Moran “double clicks” on the critical lessons so we can learn how to avoid the common pitfalls. It’s not easy to navigate the waters of being the CEO, and since we are all at least the CEO of our own careers, everyone should read this book to avoid the sinful temptations.”

—Ed Colligan, Former CEO of Palm, Inc.

“Rich Moran writes about company leaders with insight and humor. The accuracy in Sins and CEOs will make you laugh and cry at the same time. This compendium of how to avoid human frailty will inspire you to become a more effective person and to help others around you do the same.”

—Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, School of Business, Stanford University Author of Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t

Sins and CEOs invites us inside the head of a seasoned professional with startling observational skills. Rich Moran looks at the complex problems faced by real CEOs, and challenges us to consider simple yet powerful leadership solutions. Sins is really funny, but sharp enough to cut through our human tendency to avoid the truth.

—David K. Mensah, Principal Partner DKBWAVE Training and Consulting