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Senior Leadership Teams: What It Takes to Make Them Great (Center for Public Leadership) Hardcover


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Senior Leadership Teams: What It Takes to Make Them Great (Center for Public Leadership) + Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; Canadian ed edition (December 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422103366
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422103364
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ruth Wageman is Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Harvard University and Director of Research for Hay Group. Debra Nunes and James Burruss are Vice Presidents at Hay Group's McClelland Institute for Research and Innovation. J. Richard Hackman is Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Harvard University.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
An easy book to read and understand.
Karen Conte
The focus of this book is senior executives as a team.
Keith E. Webb
I have read many books on building teams.
John L. Miller PhD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Carole R. Callahan on July 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written for leaders (and also coaches) of executive level teams, Senior Leadership Teams presents a framework of three essentials (a real team, a compelling purpose, the right people) and three enablers (structure, support, coaching) for developing a great senior team.

Drawing from their research with 120 top teams and their collective consulting experience, the authors present numerous real-life examples and tools (questions and checklists) for developing these key elements and provide practical guidelines for using these elements as the basis for on-going coaching. The suggestions and processes for developing a compelling purpose and senior leadership team norms are especially useful in this regard.

Additionally, the authors provide helpful (and motivating) advice for getting the right people on your team and the wrong people off. They demonstrate the criticality of such team member competencies as empathy and integrity if you are developing a team that is prepared to engage in the candid dialogue and tough debate that is required for enterprise-affecting decision-making. Also helpful are the guidelines for identifying and dealing with team derailers and the suggestions for on-boarding new senior leadership team members.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Keith E. Webb VINE VOICE on February 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do we need another book on teams? This one is just enough different from the rest to make a significant contribution.

The focus of this book is senior executives as a team. These highly skilled individuals have the dual responsibilities of managing their departments and the enterprise as a whole. The management function of senior executive teams often feel like a distraction from their "real work". Yet, senior executive teams can provide a key function that every organization desperately needs - leadership. Senior-level leadership is needed for high level strategy, cross-functional initiatives, building organizational capacity, capital acquisition, and enabling mission-critical performance.

The four authors (two consultants and two academics) studied 120 senior executive teams to find out what made the difference between great senior teams and poor senior teams. They discovered six things. Three are essentials, no surprises here, concerning the design of the team: 1) They are real teams; 2) They have a compelling purpose; and 3) The right people are on the the team. The chapters on each essential are insightful for the specific context - senior teams. Executives will find the examples and specific recommendations helpful because of they are not generalized for all teams, but only senior teams.

Senior leaders, the authors found, often do not have the necessary skills and experience in establishing the working conditions of an effective team. Teams will not automatically be high performing because of the individual abilities of the team members. Three enablers are: 1) Team structure; 2) a support context; and 3) Team coaching. The key is developing how the team works together. Teams require different processes, skills, and growth in their abilities to collaborate together effectively.

With practical help and its specific context, Senior Leadership Teams, is well worth the read for both executives and coaches.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
On the surface, you wouldn't think that assembling a functional senior leadership team would pose a significant problem to the typical CEO. After all, senior leaders are an organization's best and brightest. They've progressed through the ranks, demonstrated their abilities, and proven that they get along well with their colleagues and the people who work for them. So why are so many senior leadership teams unproductive? Why do most executives regard an invitation to join a CEO's lead team as a punishment instead of a great opportunity? You could fill a book with all the reasons, which is exactly what Ruth Wageman, Debra A. Nunes, James A. Burruss and J. Richard Hackman have done. The authors dissect and examine every aspect of this vital issue, and offer sensible advice and answers. Follow their lead and don't squander a golden opportunity to help your organization. getAbstract believes this book is highly useful reading for all CEOs and senior executives.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John L. Miller PhD on August 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books on building teams. This is one of the most profound. Finding a book that targets senior leadership teams is particularly difficult. This book, however, focuses on the most salient issues that senior teams face. I think the concepts of mutual interdependence and compelling purpose were the most useful. It is often misunderstood - but not all teams need to function as highly integrated units on all issues. Senior leaders do, however, need to understand their reliance on one another for the critical issues that require outstanding teamwork. I think this book crystallizes the distinction for the reader.
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