A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results [NOOK Book]

Overview

Workplace teams are supposed to harness employees' talents to tackle challenges. But the reality often falls short... Now imagine having a team where everyone steps up and performs all of the leadership tasks. Imagine a team that is constantly sharing knowledge and pushing the envelope--one that does long term planning and produces outstanding performance. A Team of Leaders shows readers how to design systems that nurture the leadership potential of every employee--the key to creating high-performance teams. The ...
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A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results

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Overview

Workplace teams are supposed to harness employees' talents to tackle challenges. But the reality often falls short... Now imagine having a team where everyone steps up and performs all of the leadership tasks. Imagine a team that is constantly sharing knowledge and pushing the envelope--one that does long term planning and produces outstanding performance. A Team of Leaders shows readers how to design systems that nurture the leadership potential of every employee--the key to creating high-performance teams. The book's proven principles and techniques include: ● The Five-Stage Team Development Model that maps the transition from traditional to self-directed teams ● Best practices in team process design ● A Team Value Creation Tool that allows members to appreciate the significance of what they contribute each day ● Visual Management ● And more Filled with real-world examples, this fresh approach transforms passive groups of disparate people into effective teams of leaders--workplace teams that work!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814434086
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 3/26/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 359,832
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

PAUL GUSTAVSON is a former chair of the Marriott School of Management's OB/HR Advisory Board and founder of OPD, which helps organizations around the world create and sustain high-performance teams.
Stewart Liff is an expert in the areas of human resources management, visual management, performance management and team development. He has been heavily involved in building and supporting high performance teams since 1991. He is the author of several books for AMACOM, including Improving the Performance of Government Employees, Managing Government Employees, and Seeing Is Believing.
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A TEAM OF LEADERS

Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results


By PAUL GUSTAVSON, STEWART LIFF

AMACOM

Copyright © 2014 Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3407-9



CHAPTER 1

Creating Advantage Through the Five-Stage Team Development Model


Key principle: Leadership always exists in a team; however, everyone becomes a leader once a team achieves Stage Five of the Five-Stage Team Development Model.


THINK OF YOUR CURRENT team or work unit. Is it self-managing? How involved and committed are your team members? How well do you all work together? How many people act as leaders? How much knowledge is shared? Most important, how well is your team/unit performing? If you are using a traditional supervisor–employee model, we strongly suspect that your answers to most, if not all, of these questions will be lukewarm at best.

Our experience and research has shown that the highest performing teams exhibit more self-sufficiency (i.e., self-management) and are more engaged than leader-focused teams. This makes perfect sense because self-managing teams have a greater sense of ownership and employee involvement and often produce better results. While many of the same principles, strategies, tactics, tools, and frameworks generally apply to all types of teams, only well-developed, self-managing teams produce teams of leaders.

If your team is not self-managing and is not producing the results you would like, then this is the time to explore a proven, alternative approach.


SELF-MANAGED WORK TEAMS

A self-managed team is a team of employees working on their own toward a common goal, whose members identify, plan, and manage their daily activities and work under very limited or no supervision. As the team develops, the members do, too, with one of the key objectives being to transform each employee into a committed, highly engaged, flexible, and well-rounded leader.

High-performing self-managed teams retain much greater accountability for their work. Because they often are cross-trained, they are better at problem solving and more flexible in meeting scheduling requirements. In general, multifunctional teams control variances in the process better than functional "silos" because they are more aware of the downstream effects of their mistakes.

To become self-managing, each of your team's members must learn how to accomplish many new tasks, such as planning, scheduling, and performance feedback—tasks that are traditionally performed by supervisors. It's not an easy thing to do. In fact, a common mistake organizations make is to expect work teams to become high-performing right away.

Rather, self-managed teams evolve over a period of months or, more often, years. So don't be surprised if a temporary drop in productivity or morale first precedes the benefits you reap from becoming such a team, as people struggle to change. This book is important because it will explain why the transition is often difficult; at the same time, we will show you how to make the journey as effective and painless as possible.

Once your team truly becomes self-managing, you can expect to deliver improved performance. Moreover, individual results within your team will also get better because people will find the challenge of learning new kinds of management tasks to be very rewarding. Finally, as each team member's role evolves and as your team members become more engaged, possess wider and deeper skills, and start being proactive, they will change from being merely doers to becoming energetic leaders.


THE TEAM DEVELOPMENT MODEL

To accomplish the ambitious goals described, we will focus on one of the real breakthrough tools used by teams to separate themselves from the pack. This framework and tool (influenced by the work of Carl A. Bramlette Jr. and Abe Raab) was discovered when trying to facilitate the natural propensity and desire of team members to move toward building increased capability and self-management.

The Five-Stage Team Development Model allows self-managed teams to develop over time vis-à-vis their relationship with their leader. As teams become more independent, team leaders in turn are freed up to do more development and analysis work. Understanding this development process will make your transition to self-managing teams much smoother.

A successful self-managed team generally evolves through a series of discernible stages. As you can see in Figure 1-1, at the first stage, your team will start off with virtually every key decision being made by the supervisor or team leader. Because the transition to self-management is going to require a lot of change, the team needs an enormous amount of support.

Some of the initial enthusiasm often gives way to sarcasm as things will not go as smoothly as many people expect. This is why the team leader must be more involved than ever—to ensure that people understand how teams evolve, to address areas of uncertainty, and to deal with issues that the team is not capable of handling.

Slowly, your team will become less leader-focused. As the team moves to Stage Two, it will start to grapple with what its goals and objectives are and try to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Again, this transition usually doesn't happen as quickly as many would like. The team leader will still have to do a lot of coordinating and mentoring as the team begins to take baby steps while the leader begins to gradually move away from exercising full authority.

Stage Three is the midway point in your team's evolution. While there still may be some frustration, members will start to learn their roles and come together. The "big picture" starts to become clearer to the team and its members, and a few individuals will even step up and provide some limited but real leadership. Moreover, the team will start to focus on performance. At the same time, this is also the stage where your team will start to deal with difficult people issues. The supervisor still will be intimately involved in helping to resolve these challenges, because team members usually don't know what to do and are uncomfortable with conflict. (Interestingly, dealing with difficult people is something that most supervisors are not usually comfortable with, either.)

At Stage Four, your team will really start to hum. Most of the team members are able to step up and lead in at least one specific area. People will communicate quite well and learn from each other. They will also take a serious interest in performance and try and actively achieve many of their goals and objectives. In addition, the level of engagement will clearly rise and the team will look to take charge of all its key processes and procedures. By the same token, there will still be work to do, particularly in the areas of problem solving and conflict resolution—two areas that teams generally take longer to become proficient in. You must also continue to work on ensuring that all the team members have the requisite skill sets. At this stage, the supervisor will now be more of a coach and be on a more equal footing with the other team members, and the primary focus becomes training and developing the team members. He will have time to begin to focus on higher order work and contributions.

Once your team reaches Stage Five, it will be at the highest level where the team is self-managing. You will now work together as a unit to set and achieve a challenging set of goals and objectives. Everyone will be involved in team management and in grabbing the bull by the horns in order to get the job done. More important, individual team members will no longer be followers—they will be leaders who look down the road and at their environment in order to get and stay ahead of the curve. Meanwhile, good performance will no longer be acceptable to your team members—they will only accept excellent performance and beyond. Finally, the energy level of the team will be extremely high as its members will know what they need to do, will be committed to doing it, and will work together to provide the best performance possible.

All of this change will allow you, as team leader, to focus on other things besides team performance. Now the leader becomes more of a peripheral member of the team and is free to work on larger issues such as analysis, planning, and cross-functional concerns. Figure 1-2 describes the five stages of this team development model. It depicts 1) the changing roles of the team members and the leader and 2) how everyone becomes a leader.

As you can clearly see, at Stage Five, where everyone is a leader, the roles are strikingly different. People are no longer workers; they are all actively involved in every aspect of the team's operation. Wouldn't you want to be part of a team where everyone is this involved and committed, and where the supervisor actually has time to both scan the environment and look down the road?

To make things even clearer, Figure 1-3 is a detailed guide to help you better understand the way your team will develop.

Now that we have explained the model from several different perspectives, let's take a step back and look at several examples of the way teams might evolve under the model.


EXAMPLE: SPECIAL TEAMS UNIT

Our first real-world example is a college football team's Special Teams Unit. Special Teams Units handle kicking plays such as punts, field goals, and kickoffs. Here is how a team expected its unit to develop at each stage.


Stage One

• Special team members understand their objectives through direct instruction from their coach on the field and in meetings.

• Special team members give ideas and recommendations to their coach.

• The coach reviews and interprets special team results and determines priorities and necessary actions, as well as communicates this information either at team meetings or practices (which the coach leads) or in one-on-one meetings.

• The coach determines the depth chart and who is or isn't getting the job done.

• The coach retains most of the ownership of the success or failure of the special team's performance, schemes, and techniques.


Stage Two

• Special team members understand their objectives and regularly watch films to review their results.

• The coach leads special team performance review meetings and helps team members to better understand and interpret why they achieved their performance results.

• Team members provide input and discuss results.

• Team members begin to take some responsibility for following up with each other and communicating what can be done to improve and what was talked about in the special teams meetings with the coach.

• Players take some initiative to learn what will help the special teams excel, but the coach continues to determine the depth chart, identify problem performance, and teach schemes and techniques.


Stage Three

• The coaching staff selects special team captains and they begin to take responsibility for certain activities, such as assimilation, training, and performance management.

• Under the direction of the coach, the special team captains recommend special team members (with input from team members) and determine the depth chart, but final approval rests with the coach.

• Special team members undertake the important work of reviewing and analyzing reports and film regularly, while the special team captains run specific team performance review meetings to interpret the results, with help from the coach.

• Special team members are able to identify players they trust to get the job done and provide input to their special team captain. The coach still provides help to sort out the right priorities of each team.

• The coach coordinates with the other areas of the team to make sure the special teams are optimizing their performance; the coach helps facilitate difficult meetings and practices to ensure that time is used effectively.


Stage Four

• The special team captains own the priorities and performance leadership of their teams and follow up as appropriate.

• Facilitated by the special team captains, the special team unit reviews its performance results on a regular basis, with oversight by the coach; only now the players motivate one another.

• The special team owns not only the selection of its members and depth chart, but also the assimilation, training, and performance management of its team members, with some counsel from the coach.

• Others on the team begin to build leadership capability that will allow them to take on the role of the special team captains.

• The coach helps in refreshing certain techniques, schemes, and plays as well as introducing new techniques, schemes, plays, and skills.


Stage Five

• The special team consistently exceeds its performance objectives.

• Special team captains facilitate the process of staffing the special teams with input from their team members and, when needed, counsel from the coach.

• The role of special team captain rotates among the members of the team, with more and more individuals capable of providing leadership. The team selects its own captains.

• The special team fully owns not only the selection of its members and depth chart, but also the assimilation, training, and performance management of team members.

• Special team members consult with other teams to learn best practices/techniques for improving team performance. Analyzing trends in performance enables them to do daily and weekly planning, as well as longer-term planning.

• Team members are able to plan and manage cross-team activities to ensure alignment and proper integration.

• Team members continue to rely on their coach to scan the outside environment for leading-edge techniques, schemes, and practices that can be brought back to the team in order to further enhance their performance; whenever possible, they are involved in some of these activities.


While the mission of the football Special Teams Unit is probably very different from your team's, interestingly, this team followed the same basic evolutionary stages as teams in other fields, including manufacturing and service industries. In the example, team members decided that they could improve by changing the roles and responsibilities within the team. The net result was that the players became much more involved in the planning of the unit's activities, developed a greater stake in its outcome, and ultimately produced better results than under the traditional model. The key was that they received nurturing and support in their development, and they were given time to facilitate their transition.


EXAMPLE: SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM

To reinforce but not belabor the point, let's look at a less detailed evolution of a senior leadership team that is comprised of the heads of a series of management councils.

Stage One. The team works primarily through one-on-one interaction between the leader and each management council member. During this stage, the council heads take their marching orders from the presiding leader.

Stage Two. The team is still leader-led, but there is growing interaction between council members. Council members begin to do more than simply follow orders.

Stage Three. Leadership begins to be shared; some council members are stepping up and providing leadership to key council processes and activities while engaging other council members.

Stage Four. Leadership is now shared, with most of the council members providing leadership on key team processes and activities while being actively involved with other council members and getting their participation. The presiding leader plays an important coaching role to take the team to the next level but has time to do higher-level work.

Stage Five. Leadership is fully shared; all council members are stepping up another level in leadership of processes and activities. They are setting and attaining challenging performance targets, benchmarking, establishing best practices, and leading and contributing to other councils. The presiding leader's time is freed up to do higher-level work outside the team, but this individual is still available to the team for counsel.


As you can see, the principles and evolution of a self-managed team are the same, regardless of whether you are dealing with a senior team of managers, a football team, a white-collar team, a manufacturing team, or even a family. If you want to have a self-managing team, you must progress through a defined series of stages toward self-management. But, in order to do this, you must have the requisite design, processes, tools, and support systems in place—otherwise, frustration and chaos are likely to ensue. The remaining chapters of this book will show you how to set up these designs, processes, and systems.


UNDERSTANDING WHERE YOUR TEAM IS

Now that we have described and illustrated the Five-Stage Team Development Model, let's see what you have learned and how you can apply this information.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A TEAM OF LEADERS by PAUL GUSTAVSON, STEWART LIFF. Copyright © 2014 Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff. Excerpted by permission of AMACOM.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix

INTRODUCTION

The Opportunity 1

The Challenge 2

Is There a Model We Can Use to Build a Team of Leaders? 4

CHAPTER 1: 

Creating Advantage Through the Five-Stage

Team Development Model 13

Self-Managed Work Teams 16

The Team Development Model 17

Understanding Where Your Team Is 30

Starting Up and Developing High-Performance Teams 48

A Note About the Impact of Teams on Families 58

Challenges, Tensions, and Key Factors

During Implementation 61

How Using the Five-Stage Team Development

Model Will Help Build Leaders 63

CHAPTER 2: 

Secrets of Great Design 65

Connecting Team Members Around a Sense of Purpose 68

You Get What You Design For 69

Design Guidelines 81

OSD Tool Sets 86

Challenges, Tensions, and Key Factors During

Implementation 104

How Redesigning Your Systems Will Help

Build Leaders 105

CHAPTER 3: 

Teams Have Processes, Too 107

Performing the Core Work 110

Managing Performance 116

Selecting and On-Boarding New

Members 123

Building Capability of the Team and

Its Members 128

Managing the Disengagement or Deselection of Team Members 129

Challenges, Tensions, and Key Factors During

Implementation 132

How Improving Your Processes Will Help

Build Leaders 134

CHAPTER 4: 

Team Value Creation Model 135

Context for Value-Creating Teams 139

Developing a Team Value Creation Model 145

A Whole-Brained Approach 158

Challenges, Tensions, and Key Factors During

Implementation 158

How Developing a Value Creation Model Will

Help Build Leaders 160

CHAPTER 5: 

Developing and Managing Knowledge Is Key to Team Performance 161

Cultural Analysis: Knowledge Management 165

Challenges, Tensions, and Key Factors During

Implementation 178

How Developing and Managing Knowledge

Will Help Build Leaders 179

CHAPTER 6: 

Visual Management 181

Your Current Environment 184

Tell Me More About Visual Management 186

Visual Management and the Brain 188

So What Will Visual Management Do for Us? 189

Is Visual Management Worth It? 190

How Visual Management Began 191

How to Implement Visual Management 201

How Visual Management Impacts on and Evolves with Every Stage of Team Development 207

Challenges, Tensions, and Key Factors During

Implementation 208

How Visual Management Will Help

Build Leaders 209

Conclusion 211

Notes 215

Index 219

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2015

    I couldn¿t recommend this book more highly. As an organizational

    I couldn’t recommend this book more highly. As an organizational professional, I’ve read a lot of management books that I’ve never picked up again. “Team of Leaders” is a book you will want to keep on your 'ready reference' shelf, and also get an extra 'loaner' copy, because as you start understanding and applying it, you'll want to share it with everyone.

    Here’s why:

    1. It will help you create great places for people to work. I loved Paul's epilogue, where he talked about the 'why' for him in writing this book – in watching his own father’s challenging work experiences, he decided that his purpose in life would be to help create great places for people to work. I love that he doesn’t limit the application to corporate environments alone. He frequently cites examples from non-profits, families, churches - anyplace where people need to work together to accomplish great things. In an execution and 'do it now' focused society, leaders often blow right past talking about (let alone implementing) good design principles. Often, it’s simply because they don’t have the know-how or tools to make it happen. Paul and Stew demystify these principles in a very practical and motivational way.

    2. It teaches you a very systematic, clear way to think about teams. I had so many light bulbs go on while reading this book about the teams I currently work with. Paul appropriately warns that you won’t be able to implement it all at once, but that understanding the complete roadmap is key to knowing where to start. I immediately shared it with the leader of a non-profit I’m part of. She bought a copy and started reading it right away. The next week, we met as a team and started talking about which stage we were in (stage 2) and outlined steps about how to move to the next level. She began some very strategic shifts in how we operated. While not everyone was excited about it at first, they saw the sincerity of the leader to help them develop their own leadership abilities, and really responded to that. It was so exciting. We know it won’t be easy to get to stage 5, but now our goal is clear and the tools to make it happen are available. A huge success already!

    3. It is a treasure trove of tools for building excellent teams. Many books on team building that I have read are more motivational than they are practical. Here, Paul and Stew do an excellent job of describing not only the why and what, but a big chunk of the how. The beginning of the book gives vivid examples of what a stage 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 team look like, and then discloses all the design secrets about how and why those teams are they way they are. Then it moves to how you implement processes to keep things working smoothly after the design is complete. And then, how to assess the value your team is creating and continue growing (knowledge management). Finally, the visual management chapter is truly the icing on the cake as it gives some wonderful secrets to engaging a team visually. You could pay some serious money and spend months of many people’s time working with a consultant to figure out these insights (and still maybe never get there), or you could have it all in your hands, neatly packed into one handy book.

    From a personal standpoint:

    - I can attest firsthand, as I have been privileged to have used Paul's model both as a consultant in the for-profit and non-profit world, as well as in my own family, that IT WORKS. I can't count the number of times I've quoted Paul in saying "organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get." People always think I'm really intelligent when I say that!

    - My husband and I attended a seminar where Paul spoke about how to implement the principles in Team of Leaders in a family environment, and we immediately starting implementing some of the insights in how our family does work around the home (ask my kids in a few months how it's working - as a mom, I'm loving it :)

    - My dad read the book over Thanksgiving break when he came to visit. He is a leader in a scouting organization and was really excited to start implementing it in his scouting unit.

    - In particular, I have used the models and principles in the “secrets of great design” chapter about state changes time and again with various organizations, and I feel like it has enabled me to, as Paul does, help create greater places for people to work, with higher functioning teams. It’s certainly not 'easy' to implement, but then great accomplishments are never easy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2015

    It is rare for me to find a business book that I can immediately

    It is rare for me to find a business book that I can immediately apply to my work, so it was a welcome change to read A Team of Leaders. One of the major challenges I face are leaders that are overwhelmed with leading a team while being asked to pick up additional duties. We refer to them as player/coaches. Most leaders deal with this challenge by shifting between working far too many hours, ignoring their team, or doing the minimum on their additional duties. This leads to lower productivity as everyone works through the situation as best they can and resigning themselves to the assumption that this is just part of working for a large multinational firm. Gustavson and Liff lay out another alternative that allows leaders to set up their teams in such way that they are not caught between choosing to have a personal life and getting it all done. It allows leaders to understand where they can invest their time to get the greatest return. It also helps employees understand what they can do to avoid a lot the frustration that comes with work for an overtaxed manager.
    The format is very easy to follow. I love the graphics. It’s been easy for me to show the book to executives and have them immediately connect with the message and get excited about the possibilities.
    A Team of Leaders is one of those hidden gems that addresses real world problems in very practical terms without oversimplifying the solution.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2015

    A great leadership book when read should perpetually provide the

    A great leadership book when read should perpetually provide the reader with thoughts and ideas related to their personal experience. It should be relatable. The book should stimulate ideas that the reader wants to share with colleagues and co-workers and implement in their organization. It should motivate by helping the reader see a process for implementation.

    I found that throughout my reading I was stopping to write notes to myself, send ideas by email or text to my co-workers, typing quotes from the book and planning to use in upcoming work, etc. If you are looking for a good book to help you with ideas to help you as a leader and help others to become a team of leaders with you, this is a good read! I am excited to put these ideas to the test!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2015

    ¿A Team of Leaders¿ is a must read for 2015! As a person who ha

    “A Team of Leaders” is a must read for 2015! As a person who has studied leadership and been a leader of multiple teams over the last 15 years, this book has opened my eyes to how I approach leadership. I now see how I can transform my teams to high-performing, self-managed teams by following the principles outlined in the book. As I have started implementing the principles outlined in the book, I am already seeing improvement in my team’s performance and in their engagement with the work.

    Gustavson and Liff have written a book that is easy to read with multiple examples and visuals that reinforce how to actually implement the principles in a real world environment. The simple, yet powerful Five-Stage Team Development Model outlines how a team can move from a very traditional leader at the center of every decision (Stage 1) to a team of people who interact and behave as leaders in all they do (Stage 5).

    The authors expand on the principle that “teams are perfectly designed to get the results they get” throughout the book. I found this principle to be a key turning point for me and my teams to move from a Stage 1 team to a current Stage 3 team with a plan to continue to move towards a Stage 5 team. As I am implementing these principles, it is allowing my team members to work toward their full potential and be fully engaged in their work processes while allowing me to focus more time and effort on strategic work.

    As leaders we not only need to consider our structure of the team, but also the alignment and purpose of the work the team does to ensure that we have clarity on the value the team creates. In my experience, a high performing team flourishes in an environment where they know exactly how they contribute to the organization’s purpose. “A Team of Leaders” outlines how you can do this with your team.

    I strongly recommend “A Team of Leaders” to anyone who manages or leads a team of individuals – business, nonprofit, government, and even family…everyone can benefit from this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2015

    I am confident that A Team of Leaders will help you to significa

    I am confident that A Team of Leaders will help you to significantly improve your team’s and organization’s performance as you learn the principles it teaches and implement the techniques and tools provided.

    Who will benefit most from A Team of Leaders:
    - A member of a team
    - Team leaders
    - Executives responsible for teams
    - Consultants and coaches to teams and leaders
    - Anyone looking for a comprehensive “recipe book” on building a high performing team

    What I found most valuable about A Team of Leaders:

    PRACTICAL: It does a very effective job of stating true principles and very quickly translating them into practical tools and techniques that can be applied

    HOW-TO’S: The tools and templates are valuable in giving extra guidance to build a high performing team. Many books I have read on similar topics have left me wanting for more “how to” guidance.

    ACCESSIBLE: The book is written in a very straightforward and easily digestible format.

    TEAM STAGES: I found the team stages model really helpful. It gave me a clear way to think about team development that matches and helps explain my experience with teams.

    VALUE THROUGH KNOWLEDGE: I also found chapter 5 about knowledge management to be of particular interest and value. It does a very succinct and effective job of outlining a topic that can most of the time feel ethereal and unmanageable.

    Overall, highly recommended read. As a consultant to leaders and teams, this book has sharpened and greatly expanded my toolkit to help teams improve their performance. I look forward to continuing to learn from it as I apply it in my work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2015

    This book breaks the mold and teaches how to build true teams.  

    This book breaks the mold and teaches how to build true teams.  I’ve worked with people and organizations professionally for over a decade; throughout, I’ve embraced the principle that “high performance work teams help to create a strategic competitive advantage,” the premise of this book.  I know this to be true, yet I’ve proceed to teach leadership and build teams in very traditional ways because I could not figure out how to fully implement actual high-performance work teams.  I was content to celebrate a leader establishing a vision and “motivating” others to help achieve his/her plan, and call that success.  I could not succeed to build actual teams where leadership was shared across all members (actual high performance work teams.)  After several attempts, I though it to be impossible.  This book proves me wrong and shares how to succeed with such a goal.  




    “A Team of Leaders” breaks tradition and defines a better way to build real teams.  I look forward to implementing it with the organizations with whom I associate, including my family.  It teaches principle, process and practicality.  This book builds on standard practices of building teams as it lays out a comprehensive approach to achieve results as a team.  If you are looking for one approach to build a team, this is the one you will need.  




    Both Paul and Stewart have actually done what they teach; their credibility is solid.  Because of their experiences, they “get it,” and in this book, they have found a way to share their unique expertise with us so we can “get it” too.  They marry the idealistic with the practical as they teach their model.  This book is simple and enjoyable to read.  If you have any involvement in a group or team, you will want this book to help you succeed.           

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  • Posted October 21, 2014

    As a former faculty member at two state universities, a dean at

    As a former faculty member at two state universities, a dean at a comprehensive community college, a change leader in Fortune 200 company economic turnarounds, and a CEO for the past 20 years, I have found “A Team of Leaders” to be both stimulating and engaging.

    Paul and Stew have a rich and varied background where they have assisted organizations in various sectors to generate improved bottom line performance through the creation of highly engaged teams. Illustratively, I can personally resonate with their principle that leadership can and should be shared.  Further, my experience is that the higher a team moves up the five stage model that the authors espouse, the higher the correlation between team performance and member engagement.

    My close working association with high performing teams is that they thrive on knowing exactly how they can contribute to what is important in the organization – and then have the opportunity - to proceed to do exactly that! Unfortunately, that is a principle I frequently find missing in many team development models (how to assist teams to know, every single day, whether they have, or have not, generated value).  Fortunately, that is not the case with “A Team of Leaders” as Paul and Stew articulate a “Value Creation Model”.  This is just one of the many reasons why I applaud the author’s contribution. 

    I also found Paul and Stew’s sixth principal “Visual Management” to be an especially important learning.  The authors graphically point out through a variety of tools and examples how to design a team’s surroundings to reinforce the purpose of the team, the value teams can/do contribute to their customers and partners, and how they are performing.  I found this to be a great tool for building and reinforcing organizational alignment to what is important within the enterprise. 

    Bottom line, I strongly recommend “A Team of Leaders” to anyone in a leadership role regardless of whether that happens to be in business, government, community service, or with the family. In my professional opinion, a highly diversified audience ranging from the CEO to division head, manager to team leader, community service to volunteer leaders - could directly benefit from a study of this book.  
    Richard Feller, MBA, Ph.D.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2014

    It's rare to come across a book that so clearly and practically

    It's rare to come across a book that so clearly and practically lays out what it takes to create great and enduring teams. This book creates a compelling case that as teams evolve into teams of leaders, they collectively design and deliver work and team processes that create sustainable business results. It's clear that this book is a culmination of years of collective wisdom and insights that has been tested and applied across multiple organizations with impressive results. If you're serious about creating competitive advantage, "A Team of Leaders" is your playbook.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    Excellent book! Must read for every leader and team member. I'

    Excellent book! Must read for every leader and team member. I've worked with Paul and applied this principles with our team and having seen the lasting impact and power of "A Team of Leaders".

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  • Posted July 23, 2014

    I know Liff and Gustavson and when they combine together and pul

    I know Liff and Gustavson and when they combine together and pull their different expertise together they are going to introduce breakthrough concepts. And A Team of Leaders is breakthrough thought leadership on the topic of high performance teams. Why I'm enthusiastic about the book is it actually codifies what they have been doing with clients so the rest of us can get a glimpse into the what and how's of team performance. Oh, I really liked the format. Easy and fun to read. Well done! Shane Cragun

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    Posted September 8, 2014

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    Posted September 4, 2014

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    Posted April 10, 2014

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    Posted April 11, 2014

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