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High Five! The Magic of Working Together Hardcover – December 26, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (December 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688170366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688170363
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Organizational guru Ken Blanchard has long had a knack for writing management books that are easy and fun to read (The One Minute Manager, plus 11 other bestsellers). Now, in his latest, he becomes (with the help of three coauthors) something of a novelist, relating the saga of the Riverbend Warriors, a come-from-behind boys' hockey team, to teach a broader lesson about the importance of, and the key dynamics behind, good teamwork in organizations of every sort.

High Five! starts with otherwise exemplary exec Alan Foster losing his job because--you guessed it--he isn't a team player. Unemployed, bored, and demoralized, he decides to coach his fifth-grade son's failing hockey team into better shape. But it's not until he enlists the help of Miss Weatherby, an aging African-American retired teacher and champion girls' basketball coach that things really start to turn around. As we follow the struggle of the increasingly well-oiled Warriors machine as they drill, strategize, and bond their way through the season, we learn some of the fundamental lessons of what makes good teams--and good team-building by coaches and managers. Among them are "repeated reward and repetition," the guiding notion that "none of us is as smart as all of us," and four key traits that shall here remain undisclosed (hint: their acronym spells PUCK).

As fiction goes, don't expect high literature here. But to its credit, the book's ending isn't 100 percent happy, either. If you worry that the aged but whip-smart Weatherby might die at the end, don't--instead, she becomes perhaps the world's first octogenarian, black female management consultant. As books on teamwork go, Blanchard's latest is on the lighter side, but it still packs a fair share of commonsense wisdom when it comes to putting together, motivating, and sustaining work teams worthy of the Stanley Cup. And it may even have inaugurated a new fiction genre: the organizational tearjerker. --Timothy Murphy

From Library Journal

Two best-selling business authors on teamwork.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Few people have influenced the day-to-day management of people and companies more than Ken Blanchard. A prominent, sought-after author, speaker, and business consultant, Dr. Blanchard is universally characterized by his friends, colleagues, and clients as one of the most insightful, powerful, and compassionate individuals in business today. Ken is one of the most influential leadership experts in the world and is respected for his years of groundbreaking work in the fields of leadership and management.

Dr. Ken Blanchard is the cofounder and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, an international management training and consulting firm that he and his wife, Margie Blanchard, began in 1979 in San Diego, California. In addition to being a renowned speaker and consultant, Ken also spends time as a visiting lecturer at his alma mater, Cornell University, where he is a trustee emeritus of the Board of Trustees.

Ken has received many awards and honors for his contributions in the fields of management, leadership, and speaking. The National Speakers Association awarded him its highest honor, the "Council of Peers Award of Excellence." He was inducted into the HRD Hall of Fame by Training magazine and Lakewood Conferences, and he received the Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters International. Ken also received The Thought Leadership Award for continued support of work-related learning and performance by ISA--The Association of Learning Providers. Ken has been inducted into Amazon's Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 best-selling authors of all time. The business school at Grand Canyon University bears his name. In addition, Ken teaches students in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership Program at the University of San Diego.

Born in New Jersey and raised in New York, Ken received a master's degree from Colgate University, and a bachelor's and PhD from Cornell University. An avid golfer, Ken belongs to the Loch Lomond Golf Club in Scotland.

Customer Reviews

An excellent book and an easy read.
Kevin Kendrick
Our team at work is anxious to put these ideas into practice to create our own High Five team!!!
Sheri Goodlet
This would be a great book for coaches and managers, or for anyone else who leads a team.
Lawrence M. Wold

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be totally delightful as a model for how to be a better adult coach of a children's team. For many years, I have recommended that all those who want to learn how to be better leaders and managers begin by taking on these coaching chores. This is the first book I have ever seen that successfully captures the important principles of coaching these teams. This book deserves many more than five stars for that accomplishment!
The benefits of that are many. First, the players will get a role model of how to cooperate in order to be more effective. Second, the coaches will learn how to be better leaders, and will be able to use that skill in other areas of their lives. Third, the parents will learn what to encourage their children to do in order to get the most from the team experience, and this will bring parents and their children closer together.
The book's fable boils down to four key principles:
(1) The team needs a shared purpose, values and goals.
(2) Skills need to be developed individually that enhance the team's effectiveness.
(3) Enhance team effectiveness by integrating the individual skills properly.
(4) Repeatedly reward and recognize individuals for taking actions that enhance team effectiveness.
A weakness of the fable is that it doesn't give enough attention to how to achieve the first principle for the typical team. My suggestion is that you poll your players before the first practice to find out what their purposes, goals, and values are. Then hold a meeting to discuss what you learned, and build a consensus from there. My experience has been that 99 percent of the players want to have fun, want to improve, and win at least a few games.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Mesaros on January 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for these "Blanchard/Bowles/Johnson/etc" books. The story lines are hokey and the concepts elementary, however they can usually be read in one sitting and make great airplane books. Besides, I don't think any aspect of management is that complicated. You really just need to (1)understand the basic principles and (2)apply them religiously. And this is where I think Blanchard's formula is successful. The story keeps the book moving along, and at the same time provides a mental "hook" for remembering the priciples taught. I probably won't remember most of the management books I read six months later, but chances are good that I'll remember this dumb story about a grade-five hockey team.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mark Watson on January 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A great book for not only the blue collar workers but the ivory tower group (especially) as well. Blanchard and Company again take a complicated subject such as teamwork and make it so simple by putting it in a parable format. Once the reader sees how these timeless principles apply to a 5th grade hockey team, Alan applies the same principles in his work life.
This would be a great read for our kid's coaches too!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anthony L. Mayberry on June 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book has a great storyline in it. But what it teaches about teamwork is magnificent. One thing that it teaches is that getting your star out of the lineup for a while can actually help the team. I believe corporate America often misses that. And it's a book that is easily read. I reccommend it to everyone.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B.Sudhakar Shenoy on October 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is centered on an ice hockey team of ten-year-old boys. Traditionally, the boys who scored the maximum goals would receive the "best player award". This team also followed this concept and every player focussed on scoring the goal himself without passing the puck. When a player gets the puck, his parents would cheer " Strike-Boy-Strike".
This team NEVER won a tournament.
The new coach who joins this team analyses the problem and changes the reward mechanism.
The player who scored the goal gets 1 point.
The player who passed the puck to the scorer gets 2 points.
The goalkeeper who prevented a hostile goal gets 3 points.
There was also weightage for the factor (Goals scored/ No of strikes).
Suddenly this team starts playing differently. More goals are scored than before and the team starts winning match after match.
Alan Foster is this new coach. Alan had recently lost his job for lack of team skills. He is guided by Miss Weatherby, an aging African-American retired teacher and champion girls' basketball coach.
There is lots of similarity between a sports team and teams at the work place. This book is a superb training guide for scoring team goals - for the Organization.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Farrell VINE VOICE on August 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Warning, I find all the Ken Blanchard books that I've reading a good, quick read.
The problem for me is putting the lessons into action.
This book summarizes a number of strategies for getting a team to work together. Like other Blanchard book it's a quick read (less than 3 hours if you're a reasonably fast reader).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Larry Lastman on May 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
High Five! is a short story that teaches the four core principles of successful teams. By using a story, Blanchard and Bowles show how these principles actually work and make a difference in teams. And High Five! makes a solid case as to why organizations who follow a team strategy will beat those which rely on individual high performers who place their own success ahead of the team's success.
Wayne Gretzky, the world's best hocky player of all time, holds all kinds of records for goals scored. What made him so exceptional though was his goals assist record: The number of times he set up his team mates to score.
If you work for a Neanderthal organization that still values individual success at the expense of team success don't complain that this book isn't realistic and doesn't reflect the real world in corporate America. I've got news for you. The cheese has moved. High Five! is the real world. Winning organizations have moved. Companies that will be around to give you a pay check in the future are those that have high performing people alright, but the definition of high performing won't be the puck hogs. Star performers will be those who, like Gretzky, can score themselves, but whose real genius is lifting the rest of the team to perform better.
High Five! shows that people working together as a team create something the book calls team skills and these team skills are more than the sum of all the individual skills. Team skills allow people to accomplish and achieve far more together than they ever could on their own. This is how team based organizations have moved the cheese and why companies who stick with puck hogs will be left behind. Puck hogs are great when they go one on one against the competion.
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