© 2009

Executive’s Guide to Understanding People

How Freudian Theory Can Turn Good Executives into Better Leaders

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 1-6
  3. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 23-35
  4. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 37-54
  5. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 55-66
  6. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 67-84
  7. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 85-110
  8. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 111-131
  9. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 133-145
  10. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 147-159
  11. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 161-173
  12. Abraham Zaleznik
    Pages 175-178
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 179-187

About this book


Zaleznik takes managers into Freud's world of psychoanalysis and shows managers what they need to know about themselves and their employees to better motivate and lead. He discusses a variety of things relevant to today's top leaders including Freud's origin of psychoanalysis, the unconscious, neuroses, organizations and change.


organization organizations psychology

About the authors

ABRAHAM ZALEZNIK is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School, USA.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
Consumer Packaged Goods
Materials & Steel
Finance, Business & Banking


"In this clear and insightful book, Abraham Zaleznik shows executives how to think like a psychiatrist in motivating and managing people." - Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor Management or Director of the Center for Human Resources

"In the conversational tone for which he is famous, Abe Zaleznik connects the dots between psychoanalysis and leadership to help answer questions every executive is asking: why do people do what they do? Why do I do what I do? How can I make better decisions? This is simply a must-read book." - Sydney Finkelstein, Professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth the author of Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and Why Smart Executives Fail

"In the current crisis, which is at its core not merely financial but a crisis of leadership, it behooves executives to deepen their own self-knowledge and their understanding of their people's blind-spots. Abraham Zaleznik provides a thorough, systematic, and accessible yet not simplistic introduction to the field of psychoanalysis for busy managers. A valiant effort to bridge psychodynamics and leadership." - Dr. Thomas D. Zweifel, CEO, Swiss Consulting Group, and author of The Rabbi and the CEO: The Ten Commandments for 21st-Century Leaders

"Zaleznik's revised edition deftly applies psychoanalytic theory to the modern business world. His subtle observations and creative insights are incisive and thought-provoking. Readers will learn a great deal from this book." - George R. Goethals - E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair and Professor of Leadership Studies at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond