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The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success Hardcover – January 3, 2012
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“The Synergist speaks directly to the single greatest challenge leadership teams face today: a lack of relationship and communication. If you want to know what your leadership team needs to succeed, study this book carefully.” ―Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0 and How Full is Your Bucket?
“If you want to get unstuck and do big things, buy The Synergist. It's the best book I've read on high-quality team-based decision making; the key to accelerated growth and overall success.” ―Michael Port, New York Times bestselling author of Book Yourself Solid
“Les McKeown's excellent first book, Predictable Success, helped many companies―including the Motley Fool - stay on the right track. Now The Synergist unlocks the secrets to becoming an effective team leader, which anyone can use to achieve personal and professional growth.” ―David Gardner, cofounder and Chief Rule Breaker, The Motley Fool
“Simple, intuitive, and transformative. The Synergist lays out not only a road map to building highly successful teams, but a process that empowers organizations, fuels progress, and dissolves gridlock.” ―Jonathan Fields, author of Uncertainty
About the Author
Les McKeown is the president and CEO of Predictable Success, a consulting firm with clients that include T-Mobile, Microsoft, The US Army, Harvard University, Bose, British Aerospace and many more. McKeown's previous book, Predictable Success, hit the Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-seller lists in 2010. McKeown is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and has appeared on CNN, ABC, BBC, Inc, Entrepreneur magazine, USA Today and The New York Times. Les speaks to businesses around the country helping management achieve a systematic approach to success.
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Unfortunately, like most self-help books, the author has stretched 50 pages worth of solid content into a more sell-able 250 pages. This same author however, has written a much shorter book ("Do Lead" - it's the size of a pocket book) that essentially summarizes many parts of this book. Save yourself a lot of time in getting lost reading this book by reading parts of that book first - which will allow you to speed read through much of this book.
Part 1 of this book focuses on the 3 natural leadership styles (Visionary, Operator, and Processor) - Chapter 2 of "Do Lead" ("The Four Leadership Styles") really has what you need to know in ten pages, and also manages to introduce the Synergist.
Part 2 of this book focuses on two things: introducing the Synergist and the Synergist's leadership toolkit. Chapter 6 of "Do Lead" ("The Skillset") is a great summary of the toolkit.
Part 3 of this book is around how and when to apply the toolkit at different stages of the team process (what he calls the 3 I-s of a team lifecycle: investigation, interpretation, and implementation). This is the new material in this book, and if you've read "Do Lead" (or at least the sections outlined above), you're going to want to pay attention here.
Why not just buy "Do Lead"? Because I think there is enough new content in Part 3 of this book to be worth it (though it too could have been written more concisely). So my recommendation would be to read Do Lead first and then attack this book.
Whether you're running a lean startup, a small business or a part of a multi-million dollar corporation that is suffering from stagnant communication channels and personality types that are butting heads, Les McKeown will help you understand what the roles are that we fall into and brilliant individuals with remarkable experience in the best companies suffer, stumble and struggle to communicate, interact and work with one another in constructive ways. Better yet, McKeown's deep experience in working with all personality types gives way to how we can each rectify these issues by assuming the role of the Synergist.
I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested in business, leadership, group cultures, psychology, and organizational change and development!
No one I know operates as a lone creator. Everyone works in teams, with groups. And anyone I know who is successful, has also figured out how to navigate the complexity of building and sustaining successful teams. Yes, you too. In this new book, The Synergist, Les expands the understanding of Predictable Success to encompass those traits and habits of Synergists, who recognize and understand the players and figure out how to galvanize everyone to meaningful and successful pursuits.
Les both identifies the signature personas in play and gives clear actionable ideas on how to bring these talents together. It's truly a new take on what it means to be a team leader. Bravo!
For the author, there are 3 basic kinds of people: Visionaries, Processors and Operators. They differ from each other on the way they perceive a productive day of work, how they interact with each other, the path they choose to complete their jobs and different drives. By understanding their differences and flaws, the author suggests that, for the team to evolve, the members should bring not only their natural style, but the power of the Synergist, a role that can be learned and improved, both individually and collectively.
A great number of tools, surveys, and webcasts are also available on his website, I have really enjoyed those as well.
Great Job Les!