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Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team's Passion, Creativity, and Productivity Paperback – March 22, 2009
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The primary resource of management is PEOPLE.. All business, government and non-profit organizations are made up of people. People have their agendas, whether self-generated or borrowed. "How To" manuals on cat herding are instructions on getting other people to adopt your agendas, at least in part and for a while. "FIRED UP OR BURNED OUT" is a textbook on motivating people in organizations.
So what did "FIRED UP OR BURNED OUT" do for me that my other hundred management textbooks didn't do? Why should you trade your cash for your very own copy of "FIRED UP OR BURNED OUT?"
Authors Stallard, Dewing-Hommes and Pankau have three main messages: connect with others, create meaning for your work and treat others respectfully. "FIRED UP OR BURNED OUT" is a textbook on connections. Examples of connected organizations are as diverse as Pixar Studios and the United States Marine Corps.
The book is organized in four parts:
What fires us up?
Three keys to connecting your team and lighting their fires
The fire starts with you
Learn from 20 great leaders over 20 days
Appendix A is a three-page assessment for evaluating organizations.
I work with several organizations. I'm not fond of "management gimmicks of the week" but I do examine new management tool kits. Give "FIRED UP OR BURNED OUT" a look and see if it meets a need. I regard "FIRED UP OR BURNED OUT" as another useful management tool.
I've worked for a few truly excellent bosses and a few horrible ones and know how the environment they created effected my work product. I'm always looking for ways to be the best leader I can be and encourage others to produce the best work they can. I've often struggled with the right balance of supportive, accommodating and nice, while getting what I need. This books does a great job of explaining how and why certain leaders have been successful, including the psychology behind why their tactics lead to success. It is more than just being nice and supportive, but understanding how and what approaches get the most out of people.
I love the way the authors use a range of examples from leaders in history, to successful businesses, to personal stories. It makes it easy to relate to and find something that resonates (it also makes it really interesting to read). I've often found when reading other business management books that some of the examples feel like they are stretched to prove the point -- this pulls from traditional and non-traditional sources to put the pieces together. What struck me is that the leaders who were successful are not just the superkids with brilliant ideas, but those who provided consistent commitment to understanding what motivates their organization -- whether it's a sports team or a country.
I think it is a great book and will be valuable for anyone who is interested in motivating their organization.
The numerous examples of managers, CEOs, coaches, and others in leadership positions that have applied the principles taught in the book, made the concepts come alive for me and motivated me to strive for the same level of excellence.
The book is laid out in a logical well thought out manner, as described in many of the other reviews here. Part IV of the book, where there are stories from twenty great leaders to read and meditate on - one each day for twenty days - really helped me to internalize the ideas set forth in the book. It's so easy to read a good book, get temporarily fired up about it and then fall back into old habits of thinking after a while. By the time you are done with the twenty stories in twenty days the principles set forth in the book will have permeated your own thinking and set you on a course for real change.
If you buy this book you won't be disappointed and you'll never view the relationships in your workplace, church, club or other organization quite the same as before you read it.