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A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results Hardcover – March 20, 2014


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A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results + Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t + Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 1 edition (March 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081443407X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814434079
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

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!

From the Inside Flap

No matter how many good people you gather, most workplace teams settle into the same old rut. Once the initial enthusiasm dissipates, they become little more than order takers, satisfied with so-so results.

A Team of Leaders offers a completely new way to approach the team experience and an empowering formula for improving performance. At the core of the team dilemma is a little-known truth: It’s not the people who need to change but the design of the team that needs an overhaul.

By improving the core design components—the systems, the processes, knowledge management, and visual management—you’ll get far better results. Unmotivated teams will be transformed into energized groups of employees who take responsibility for long-term outcomes.

It all starts with the Five-Stage Team Development Model, which outlines a distinct set of characteristics that teams exhibit as they move from traditional Stage 1, leader-directed teams to self-managed Stage 5 teams full of knowledgeable people who think and act like leaders. The book supplies the tools, processes, and principles for putting them on this path to reinvention. It explains how to:

• Incorporate the Team Design Model into your plans and recognize the importance of choosing the right team structure, information systems, people systems, and more

• Design integrated processes that support leadership growth, from on-boarding new members to building capabilities to managing disengagement

• Adapt a Value Creation Tool that pinpoints the contribution each team member makes each day—and highlights the urgency of everyone pulling together

• Capture and quickly disseminate the key knowledge that teams need to become effective, self-managing units

• Use visual management techniques to highlight critical organizational requirements, keep people focused on goals, improve information sharing, and more

As the authors point out: “Teams are perfectly designed to get the results that they get.” Lackadaisical design brings lackluster outcomes. But rigorous design can transform a meh team into a motivated group that continually strives for outstanding performance—a team of leaders.

Paul Gustavson is an organizational design consultant and the founder of Organization Planning & Design, Inc. (OPD), which helps companies around the world create and sustain high-performance teams. He is the former chair of the Marriott School of Management’s OB/HR Advisory Board and coauthor of The Power of Living by Design and Running into the Wind.

Stewart Liff is an HR and visual management expert and the president and CEO of the consulting company Stewart Liff & Associates. During his long career with the Department of Veterans Affairs, his office was selected for Vice President Al Gore’s first Hammer Award for Reinventing Government because it successfully used the principles described in this book. He is the author of five books, including Managing Government Employees and Managing Your Government Career.


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Customer Reviews

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This is a valuable concept for anyone to learn more about, and one that is immediately applicable in life.
Brian H Gill
This book shows you how you can create the kind of team environment that produces more engaged employees and extraordinary results for your organization.
Elaine Biech
Rothman claims that “that operating philosophy continues to guide the way we manage our company and interact with our customers.
Nate Meikle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marc Swartz on March 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I just finished A Team of Leaders. WOW! It left me smiling. I have studied and practiced Team Development as the leader of start ups as well as existing operations for 25 years. This book broke new ground for me by tying it all together. Thank You Paul and Stew.

I like to see how it all fit together like weaving together a fabric. I have a particular bias for trying to see things in a holistic manner. This book was perfect for me.

My fabric was indeed like a tattered sackcloth when I compare it to the beautiful fabric you have woven. You have succeeded in showing how all the tools fit together to drive the development of teams of leaders. And you did this in a way that is engaging and easy to follow. Using the 5 stage Team Development Model as the framework is brilliant. And I think you did a superb job of showing how Knowledge Management and the Learning Organization concepts are integral to the development of team.

Congratulations on a great book. I highly recommend it.

Marc Swartz
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fraser Bullock on October 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Wow! This is a completely different way of developing an organization. It resonates with what we all preach--empowerment--yet we typically fail to do well. The most important aspect of an organization is its people and people want to contribute. This book paints a way for people to best achieve their potential, enjoy their work more, and improve the outcome for the organization. Nicely done!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nate Meikle on April 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Irv Rothman, President and CEO of HP Financial Services, refers to Paul Gustavson as, “A true workplace visionary.” In the mid 1980’s, Rothman was CFO of AT&T Capital, trying to design an operating model for a business unit that would involve more than a thousand deals in a day. The potential for the business unit was in the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars. Because of the massive logistics involved, the company eventually outsourced much of the work to Chase Manhattan Bank. But after a couple years, the outsourcing proved unsuccessful and Rothman was tasked with taking oversight of the unit.

After a lunchtime meeting with Paul Gustavson, Rothman knew how he wanted to structure the process: he deployed Gustavson’s Team of Leaders design. As a result, the unit became a business with 35% ROI. Rothman claims that “that operating philosophy continues to guide the way we manage our company and interact with our customers. We’ve installed it along the way at Compaq Financial Services, and you can see it to this day in the management of Hewlett-Packard Financial Services.”

"A Team of Leaders" details the philosophy and logistics of turning team members into leaders. Gustavson has consulted with and implemented the Team of Leaders design at the veritable Who’s Who of major U.S. corporations. And his new book with Stew Liff, "A Team of Leaders" shares the information that was previously only available through consulting engagements. I cannot recommend the book highly enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cody Loveland on April 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover
What separates good teams from great teams is when every member of the team is a leader. In this insightful book authors Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff identify key principles in creating a team of leaders in any organization. These helpful tools can not only be applied in business, but can be used by coaches, communities and families.

Teams are perfectly organized to get the results they are getting. Are you happy with your results? Do you see room for improvement? A Team of Leaders helps organizations identify ways to improve regardless of where they are on a scale of effectiveness. Low functioning 'Level 1' teams can become high functioning and engaged 'Level 5' teams following the simple principles outlined in the book.

Using stories from their decades of experience the authors share insights into how companies have adopted these principles on their way to greater success. A Team of Leaders is not only for the manager but every member of the team. I enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rob on April 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I've held many jobs to date. In most of them, I've been frustrated with the way my supervisors treated me and by my inability to influence key decisions or make changes that I (and in most cases my peers as well) thought were needed. After reading A Team of Leaders, I realize that my frustrations are not really created by my supervisors, bur by the system within which we all work.

This book shows a new way to accomplish work that involves everyone, teaches us how to become leaders, and motivates us to become involved, engaged, and highly committed. It is a fascinating approach that I believe will gain great traction in the coming years. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cameron Jensen on April 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
For anyone working in any type of management position this is a must read. The 5 stage team development model has been a guiding principle in my work and proven extremely valuable.

Paul Gustavson also consulted on a project for us where we organized and end to end team and a clear value creation model. I experienced first hand how powerful this design element is where it increased the teams performance by 200% and increased overall job satisfaction.

Teams are perfectly designed to get the results they get, this book helps you design systems and processes to get the results you want. Taking the time will be a great investment!
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