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It could happen today. You are called into the office, and the boss tells you that due to unforeseen circumstances, starting today you will be in charge of a team, a project, an office, a committee, or a business unit. Without any warning (or preparation on your part) you've become an accidental leader.
If you have been thrust into a position of sudden responsibility, you need The Accidental Leader. This book is a first aid kit that gives you the information and inspiration you need to
- Know what you bring to the challenge— your pluses and minuses
- Define success and achieve it
- Get other people on your side
- Overcome your natural shortcomings
- Get organized— right now
- See through the apparent system to the culture within
- Direct people and get them to act
About the Author
Harvey Robbins is a psychologist, business consultant, trainer, and author. He has consulted to numerous organizations including American Express, Allied Signal, General Dynamics, AT&T, 3M, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, Nabisco, Target, and US West.
Michael Finley is a prolific author and journalist whose work has appeared in hundreds of publications. He is well known for his writing on technology, and was chosen as one of the "Masters of the Wired World" by the Financial Times. Robbins and Finley have written several books together, including the best-selling Why Teams Don’t Work, which won the Financial Times/Booz-Allen & Hamilton Global Business Award in 1995.
Table of Contents
Who gets called to accidental leadership? Just about anyone.
Introduction: What’s an Accidental Leader?
Part One: Managing Oneself.
Three ways to cope with leader’s anxiety.
1. Coming to Terms with Responsibility.
Three steps to establish where you are—and where you need to be.
2. The First Day.
Seven things you need to learn about your team members and they need to know about you—and two warnings.
3. Meeting the Team.
Ten ways to feel better about your leadership.
4. Deciding What Kind of Leader to Be.
Eight things you can do to negotiate your own learning curve.
5. Becoming a Quick Study.
Four tough questions you need to ask yourself.
6. The Perfect Person for the Job.
Part Two: Managing the Technical Side.
Five things to spend at least a week learning about.
7. What They Expect You to Know, and What You’d Better Figure Out on Your Own.
Five measures of planning success.
8. Planning to Succeed.
Six stages of bringing an idea to completion.
9. How a Little Orderliness Can Extend Your Shelf Life.
Nine things you can do to bring people into your circle.
10. Who You Can Turn To.
Seven ways to get out of the box, and stay out.
11. Set Fire to Your Credenza.
Six ways to create a learning environment.
12. Leading by Learning.
Part Three: Managing People.
Six things to remember when your team is hovering on the brink of dysfunction,
13. Living with Teams,
Five rules for successful succession,
14. Packing Up Your Predecessor,
Seven truths about effective team process,
15. The Right (and Wrong) Way to Make Up Your Mind,
Ten el-cheapo ways to motivate people.
16. Motivating People.
Five ways to effect change in the face of resistance.
17. Locating the Levers of Change.
Nine ways to break an ice-jam in negotiations.
18. Learning to Negotiate.
Four kinds of people, and how to work with each.
19. Dealing with Other People.
Three ways to give people information so it is real to them.
20. How to Give Feedback.
Three ways to make empowerment work—and make your team bless you.
21. Set Limits to Freedom.
Five rules for dealing with conflict.
22. The Importance of Being Frank.
Five broad characterizations of the working generations.
23. Bridging the Age Gap.
Four of the worst and six of the best ways to communicate bad news.
24. How to Discipline and Fire.
Nine parting shots of managerial wisdom.
25. Confession and Conclusion.
Appendix: Best Books.