We are all acquainted with workplace sacred cows: try hard, work well with others, and focus on excellent work. This cherished advice, in practice, has a dark side and unthinking pursuit of these goals leads to unintended consequences. How can managers upset conventional wisdom, identify and avoid behaviors that masquerade as virtues, and lead in the most productive way possible? Based on the author’s coaching experience in Duke’s Executive Education program—as well as recent research in behavioral economics, neuroscience and psychology—Tipping Sacred Cows offers simple steps to avoid the consequences of following these sacred cows. Breeden examines seven business virtues that can become powerful, hidden and damaging. They are the most frequently advocated, loved, and least questioned orthodoxies. They are: Balance—Attempting to be all things to all people, without being meaningful to anyone. Collaboration—Holding too many meetings and creating a culture of learned helplessness. Creativity—Wasting time and money on an unneeded new idea but ignoring the bottom line. Excellence—Investing in producing perfect work rather than quick and dirty solutions needed now. Passion—Racing toward success brings burn-out and disappointment. Fairness—Sabotaging each other to ensure no one gets more than their share. Preparation—Wasting time in planning sessions instead of creating just-in-time solutions with the right people. For each of these sacred cows, Breeden offers three simple strategies to overcome their allure and achieve real results. Tipping Sacred Cows doesn’t advocate slaughtering sacred cows. Rather it argues that we can save them by removing the shrouds of conventional wisdom around them. Tipping Sacred Cows shines a light on the hidden traps between good intentions and good results, so readers can finally realize their fullest potential at work.