The Leader's Handbook: Making Things Happen, Getting Things Done 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
Peter R. Scholtes is an internationally known author, lecturer, and consultant. From 1987 to 1993 Mr. Scholtes shared the platform with W. Edwards Deming, helping to educate corporations about the new philosophy of the Quality movement. He was one of the first to synthesize the principles of the organizational development field with the teachings of Dr. Deming. Mr. Scholtes is the author of The Team Handbook. He has written award-winning articles on several Quality-related topics, especially with Dr. Deming's encouragement, on the controversial topic of performance appraisal: What's wrong with it and what to do instead. He is a popular keynote speaker at international conferences in such places as London, Sydney, Moscow, and Rio de Janeiro. In March of 1995, Quality Digest recognized Mr. Scholtes as one of the 50 Quality leaders of this decade.
From the Back Cover
For Anyone Serious About Leading Their Organization Into the 21St Century
This groundbreaking book, already creating a stir, could only have been written by Peter R. Scholtesauthor of the best-selling book ever written on teams:The Team Handbook. In The Leader's Handbook, Scholtes, widely acknowledged as one of the most influential teachers of leadership and management of the decade, does for managers whatThe Team Handbook did for teams. Scholtes shows how bad systems, not bad workers, cause the vast majority of management problems. He takes controversial stands against performance appraisals and incentive compensation. And he takes you from theory to practice with a wide variety of state-of-the-art activities and exercises to help you immediately begin implementing breakthrough improvements in all your work processes.
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So, do yourself and your leadership teams a favor. Buy this book.
The main reason is because the book talks very little in the way of leadership or inspiring your people. This is a book primarily focused on process and quality improvement, but learning about leadership and inspiring my employees is the reason I bought this book. To me, the difference between a manager and a leader is that the successful manager gets his people to do what needs to be done. A successful leader gets his people to *want* to do what needs to be done. There was a lot more information on that topics in The Team Handbook, which Scholtes co-wrote.
The truth is that I think this is a very good book, and I'd gladly give it four stars if the title was more descriptive of the book's content. What I like most about this book is the way Scholter walks the reader through the thought process of analyzing an existing process and finding ways to improve it. He bases many of his principles from Deming's work on quality improvement and, not surprisingly, many of his examples are from Japanese companies. Many of his ideas transfer easily to the American workforce, but I'm not convinced that all of them would be so effective outside of Japan, due to the cultural differences between the two workforces.
Amazon has enabled Search Inside This Book, so I would encourage anybody thinking about purchasing this book to take a peek and see the topics that Scholter covers. Flip through the Surprise Me feature and you'll likely see some of the many charts and diagrams that Scholter uses to great effect to show the reader a process, or give them a tool to analyze their own processes.
The only area that didn't sit well with me is Chapter 9, Performance without Appraisal. In this chapter it appears as though Scholtes' premise is that workers belong to McGregor's Theory X camp. While some are, the overly simplistic approach that assumes all are makes this chapter very frustrating to read. He spends a lot of time highlighting the fault of performance management, but he provides very little insight how to do it another way.
The net is that this is a very informative book presented in a very clear manner that can provide benefit for almost every manager. The title is a little misleading, so make sure you flip through the book before buying it.
Top international reviews
Scholtes is a follower of Deming, and is possibly the best person to read as an introduction to Deming, including reading Deming himself! This is because, after years of experience and reflection, Scholtes has encapsulated how to apply Deming's ideas into the leadership role.
He starts by explaining how the command-and-control management approach evolved, and in debunking many of its principles, introduces a better way: systems thinking.
He then goes on to explain how systems thinking applies to leadership and what competencies are involved.
In chapters 4 and 5 he deals with business as usual and shows how systems thinking and continuous improvement should be applied.
Next he deals with breakthrough improvement, and gives a 7-step approach to successful breakthrough.
Chapter 7 deals with measurements and targets, and in common with other writers on the Lean approach, emphasises the importance of good measures of process performance (not people performance) over the use of KPIs and targets.
The last chapters of the book focus on the different paradigms of leadership that this involves, from using observation and questioning through to getting rid of performance appraisal and incentive schemes.
Even if you don't agree with everything, the book will at the very least make you think about how to lead and "manage" effectively. For my money, this is one of the best books on leadership and management, and I thoroughly recommend it.
I recommend the book .
Perhaps it'll just be something I dip into every few years for something to think about.
Given that it's called Making Things Happen, Getting Things Done, I feel a bit bad about all of this, but it's the absolute truth.