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Archive for the ‘Leadership and Management’ Category

A Team of LeadersIn today’s business world it is challenging for companies to both deal with problems and changes internally and at the same time be productive and competitive in the marketplace. In A Team of Leaders, Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff show readers how to create an environment where everyone is a leader. The lives of team leaders or supervisors can be fraught with frustration, as pressure is exerted on them from both the top and the bottom, as well as from the public who use their companies’ products or services. Some companies seek to lessen this stress by adopting team environments, which can be helpful but still puts leaders at the top of these teams. Building teams of leaders, however, replaces the supervisor-employee relationship with teams that eventually manage themselves.

The authors provide the following advice to readers:

  • The amount of involvement and interest a work force generally projects is relevant to how leader-focused that group is designed to be. Companies need to evaluate where their teams are. Teams possess a greater sense of ownership when all members have input and are equally informed about what is going on.
  • Different designs create different teams. The way teams are designed will predict the way they look and behave. Companies’ structures and management systems should be closely aligned with their overall strategies to begin with, which makes it easier for teams to have common visions and purposes.
  • Within teams, the goal is for everyone to be leaders. Each employee should have an individual development plan and recognition for accomplishments, and in this way all employees will be able to foresee future actions and promotions within the teams.
  • Leaders want to be contributors. Leadership is encouraged when each member of the team knows exactly what his or her contribution is to the overall mission. Regular feedback about the progress the team is making and how it is contributing to the overall goals of the company is extremely helpful.
  • Knowledge management is important and multi-faceted. Teams need to have data and information, but also knowledge about procedures, policies and other organizational materials, in addition to working knowledge of the values and beliefs of their companies. Each member should master the skills needed to perform his or her own functions and have a general idea of what others do to contribute.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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The Next Gen LeaderIn The Next Gen Leader, Robert C. McMillan argues that everyone is a leader and should be recognized as such if organizations are to succeed and excel in today’s dynamic, competitive marketplace. Acting as a leadership coach, McMillan provides a complete 6G Leadership System to enable emerging, aspiring, and executive leaders to maximize their potential and become transformational leaders. He identifies six generations of leadership and discusses the attitudes and states of mind that are required to operate successfully at each leadership level.

McMillan offers readers the following advice:

  • Despite different experiences and different career journeys, everyone can be a leader. The 6G Leadership System provides a tracking system to identify where people are and offers a pathway forward to enable people to become transformational leaders.
  • Leadership is a choice, not a position. Individuals should choose to lead, regardless of their positions in the hierarchy, and organizations should create environments where everyone is encouraged to lead.
  • To truly maximize leadership potential, people must first have universal balance in their lives. They can evaluate this balance and improve it by exploring six life applications, which assess faith, moral purpose, intellect, self-awareness, relationships, and wealth (financial and health).
  • Every aspiring leader needs to understand the Six Senses of Leadership (seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and kinesthetic) are critical in order to become a leader of significance. These senses yield awareness that one is a leader, regardless of position, pay, or power.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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Leadership 2030In Leadership 2030, Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell provide a road map of the broad trends that are reshaping markets, cultures, and companies. Based on research with the Hay Group, a global management consultancy, they offer insights into six megatrends: the shift of economic power to Asia, the escalating war for talent, environmental crisis, eroding customer and employee loyalty, the melding of private and working lives, and technological convergence. The authors show how these self-reinforcing trends demand enlightened leadership with the skills to engage an ever-widening circle of stakeholders. Gone are the days of the egocentric, alpha-male leadership. To survive the megatrend storm leaders will have to provide workers with greater autonomy while finding ways to respond to the unique needs of every customer.

Six big changes are afoot that will reshape the demands of leadership going forward:

  1. Globalization in the future will be more about power shifting to Asia than it has been in the past. The growing middle class in many developing nations will create new opportunities, but also challenges as multinationals try to serve highly localized markets.
  2. Climate change will drive resource scarcity, forcing leaders to fundamentally rethink their operations.
  3. Rising affluence will drive demand for customized products. Just as consumers seek out more individualized experiences, so too will employees whose work need not be restricted by time and place.
  4. The digital era will shift power to consumers and workers, away from traditional management structures. Already, the digital world is blurring the line between personal and professional lives, while increasing organizational transparency.
  5. The aging population will shrink the workforce and require leaders to cope with intergenerational workplaces.
  6. Several cutting-edge technologies will converge to open new markets. Nanotechnology and biotechnology especially will challenge leadership to invest in R&D programs and to respond effectively to societal worries.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Leaders Make the Future, Leading from the Emerging Future, The Work of Leaders

 

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94994429In Rapid Realignment, George Labovitz and Victor Rosansky chart the path to optimal organizational performance by integrating key processes, staff, customers, and strategies to serve the primary purpose of an enterprise—increasing stakeholder value. Alignment is the result of this integration, and organizations that achieve it succeed by focusing their people and resources on providing optimal customer satisfaction. In aligned organizations, employees at every level understand the business’s goals and strategies and know how their efforts advance them. Their clear understanding of customer needs enables the constant improvement of products and services that win and maintain customer loyalty. This adjustment, or rapid realignment, is a necessity in a global economy in which swiftly changing conditions and demands can pose serious challenges to an organization’s survival.

According to Labovitz and Rosansky:

  • To support an organization’s primary purpose, its staff, strategy, customers, and processes must be aligned. This alignment requires clear communication, complete understanding of its objectives, and the commitment of all involved in the process. When external forces or events cause misalignment and reduces effectiveness, rapid realignment is essential to ensure continued success.
  • The alignment framework is made up of four elements — strategy, people, processes, and customers. Strategies will change as requirements change, and when they do they must be rapidly deployed. Core processes that serve customers must continually undergo improvement.
  • Vertical alignment is achieved when employees can articulate the organization’s strategy and explain how their work supports it. This understanding is what boosts the deployment of new strategies.
  • Horizontal alignment is achieved when the communication barriers that separate employees from customers are removed. This means that employees understand customer needs and are committed to improving service.
  • Every organization must have a Main Thing — a meaningful description of what it wants to accomplish. It must be a common and unifying concept to which every unit can make a contribution.
  • Social media is an excellent means for fostering trust and bringing people together to advance both the Main Thing and management’s plans for achieving it. It facilitates employee communication with management and enables employees to ask questions that get answers.
  • To effectively change their cultures, organizations must determine the behaviors that will best implement their strategies and meet customer needs, as well as ensure that attitudes and values are aligned with their Main Things.
  • To effectively change behaviors, new strategies must be explained repeatedly. Employees must be able to comprehend how their participation will ensure the strategies’ success and how their contributions will be valued.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Wiki ManagementHBR Guide to Getting the Right Work DoneBusiness at the Speed of Now

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94776685Peter Drucker is often considered to be the “father of modern management.” For decades, the great business thinker produced dozens of books, articles, and lectures providing groundbreaking insight on leadership and organizational success. In The Practical Drucker, William H. Cohen distills the wisdom from the vast body of Drucker’s work into 40 succinct truths. Cohen provides readers with the necessary guidelines and examples to use these 40 truths to solve people, management, marketing, innovation, and organizational problems.

Peter Drucker’s work has played an essential role in shaping modern management. While many leaders wish to integrate more of Drucker’s wisdom into their performances, it is difficult to know where to start. William H. Cohen extracted the following practical touch-points from Drucker’s extensive work:

  • The responsibility of a leader is to protect and inspire others. Drucker believed that it was a leader’s ethical duty to keep others from harm and that an organization’s success comes from a leader’s ability to inspire and encourage employees.
  • People have no limits. Drucker felt that all people have the potential for success as long as they work hard at developing themselves.
  • Avoid doing what generated success in the past to achieve success in the future. When organizations hold on to the old products and business tactics that once made them successful, they are unable to evolve with the changing times, and will eventually fail.
  • Good management requires leaders to take problems head on. Whether it is office politics or a pending organization-wide crisis, Drucker recommended that managers identify every problem they are faced with and take positive action immediately.
  • Only irrational marketers believe there are irrational customers. Drucker argued that marketers who label their customers as “irrational” because of their purchasing decisions do not understand what their customers value.
  • Some of the best innovation comes from “unexpected” circumstances. Drucker believed that strange events and trends were some of the best places for organizations to find innovation opportunities.
  • The purpose of a business is not to make a profit. Too many organizations focus on profit when they should be focusing on the true purpose of the business, which Drucker argued was to create customers.
  • The two most important organizational functions are marketing and innovation. Organizations must always be creating new products that customers actually want to buy.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Work of Leaders, The Crucibles of LeadershipWhy Should Anyone Be Led by You?

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91947553In an increasingly complex world, decision making has become a Herculean task for today’s leaders. There is a growing tendency for leaders to prolong and even avoid making hard decisions. This lack of decisiveness is problematic because it translates into an absence of action and makes a leader ineffective. In The Proactive Leader, David De Cremer examines this trend from a behavioral perspective. He explains both what spurs people to make decisions and what prevents them from taking action, or procrastinating. This book will assist leaders in understanding their own decision-making processes and help them make decisions that are more in line with their values.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Make Up Your Mind, Think Fast!, The Deciding Factor

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In Reinventing Management, Julian Birkinshaw offers alternative counterpoints to replace the traditional ways people approach management and business. Arguing that management “failed” after years of corruption and employee disenchantment, Birkinshaw presents compelling arguments for how management can be improved and updated for a new era of business. With a fresh perspective on management issues, such as communication, coordination, setting objectives, and motivating employees, Birkinshaw offers decision makers and corporate influencers an actionable guide for reinventing and reinvigorating management at companies both large and small.

Birkinshaw offers readers the following advice:

  • Management is defined as the act of getting people together in order to accomplish certain goals and objectives. However, that definition has become corrupted over the years, narrowing the scope of what management should be.
  • An enduring source of competitive advantage for companies is a novel business model. In addition, a novel management model can also keep a company strong.
  • The traditional way for coordinating work in a large company is bureaucracy, which is a more formalized structure. Alternatively, a company can use emergence to coordinate work. Emergence is spontaneous, and work is accomplished by parties working together as a matter of self-interest.
  • The traditional path for making and communicating decisions in a large organization is via hierarchy. The alternative path is collective wisdom, where aggregated expertise is valued more highly than the advice of one leader.
  • The traditional principle for goal setting in large companies is alignment, where all employees work toward a common goal. The alternative is obliquity, the idea that goals are best achieved when worked toward indirectly.
  • Traditionally, extrinsic motivators like money or threat of punishment were used to incentivize workers. The better alternative is intrinsic motivation, by which employers motivate workers with rewards that are inherent to the task itself.
  • There are four main models of management: Discovery, Planning, Quest, and Science. Selecting the right model is important for managers looking to improve their organizations.
  • Management model innovation is usually driven by three sets of people. These are mid-level change agents, top-level executives, and external partners, such as academics or consultants.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Full Engagement!Bare Knuckle People ManagementManaging for People Who Hate Managing

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88408705The purpose of Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers is to teach people how to spot a complainer and fix the problem quickly. Complainers and energy drainers in the workplace can have strong negative effects on a company through lost work, loss of good employees due to an unhealthy work environment, and damage to a company’s reputation. Complainers inhibit innovation and growth in companies while negatively affecting daily productivity. Linda Swindling attempts to help readers identify the types of complainers they are dealing with, understand the reasons for their behavior, and learn strategies and solutions to deal with them. The options, strategies, and solutions provided can help turn chronic complainers into chronic contributors and let everyone get back to work.

Swindling offers the following advice to readers:

  • Every complainer has their own motivations for behaving the way they do. Understanding their reality versus their outward reactions is key to helping them change their own behavior.
  • Workplace productivity can suffer from energy drains. Energy drains come in many forms including: technology and software that is complicated or not understood by its users; bottlenecks; too much work for a given timeframe; misaligned values between the company and workers; and depressing work environments.
  • Not all complaining is counterproductive. Constructive complaining can be beneficial to a company’s growth.
  • Changing chronic complainers into chronic contributors can go far to improving a company’s morale, promoting effective communication, and increasing productivity.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Make Difficult People Disappear, Three Signs of a Miserable JobEngagement Is Not Enough

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Making Extraordinary Things Happen in AsiaMaking Extraordinary Things Happen in Asia showcases how The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership formulated from research conducted by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner are being applied by Asian executives to transform how people work to generate great results. Real-life stories are shared about personal leadership practices from senior managers, many enrolled in the Executive MBA program at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The emphasis is on how leaders set inspiring examples through their own behaviors and relationships with colleagues, employees, team members, and other constituents. The five exemplary practices are modeling the way with clear values, inspiring others with a shared vision, continually challenging existing processes to discover new opportunities, empowering others to act, and encouraging the heart through genuine appreciation of the work of others.

The authors inform readers that:

  • Each individual can be a leader and make a difference by modeling exemplary behavior based on values and developing strong relationships with constituents within an organization in order to make things happen.
  • Leadership can be learned because it manifests as an observable pattern of practices and behaviors and a definite set of skills and abilities.
  • The five practices of exemplary leadership are modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging existing processes, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart.
  • Lead by the example of exemplary behaviors to show deep commitment to shared values.
  • Commitment from others cannot be forced through command but must come from inspiring others to enlist in a common vision.
  • Exemplary leaders search for opportunities to innovate, grow, and improve; they continually learn from failures and successes.
  • Leaders must foster collaboration and build trust by strengthening others. When people have the information, discretion, and authority to make extraordinary things happen, they will.
  • Exemplary leaders demonstrate genuine appreciation for individual excellence and seek to create a culture that celebrates values and victories.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The New Asian Hemisphere, China’s Management Revolution, China Versus the West

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86407323Today’s economy, with its insatiable need for great ideas and effective implementation, does not reward stifling environments and underdeveloped staffs. Instead, it demands smart work at full throttle. To unleash productive power, organizations look to their leaders. Global competitors and the advancement of new technologies require leaders to be constantly in motion as they lead their organizations to success by creating cultures of transformation. In Leaders in Motion, Dr. Marta Wilson offers her proven method for unleashing the full potential of every organization by helping leaders tap their potential to create and motivate cultures of transformation and achievement.

Wilson offers the following advice to leaders wishing to spur cultural change in their companies:

  • The race to win organizational health, wealth, and creative power begins with personal mastery, and the journey toward personal mastery begins with a commitment to integrity.
  • Organizational transformation is based on personal transformation.
  • The starting point for authentic organizational transformation is the leader, who must be committed to personal transformation.
  • To master their enterprises and the interpersonal connections within them, leaders must first master themselves.
  • Transformation requires personal mastery built on authenticity, integrity, consciousness, and willingness to embrace change.
  • Learning how to practice new reactions is an essential element of transformation.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: People Follow You, Positive Leadership, Corporate Culture

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