If you’re in a leadership position and want to learn more about developing your team to the highest level, there are a ton of books on the market for you to choose from. So what makes this little 200-page book different from all the others available? The answer is quite simple, really. Many of the books available on team leadership give you some nice abstract ideas that you may be able to alter to fit your needs. CREATING PASSION-DRIVEN TEAMS by Dan Bobinski goes beyond abstract ideas to give you the actual nuts and bolts you’re looking for.
Let me put it another way, many books on team leadership present a new angle on how to utilize old ideas of leadership. Bobinski takes a much deeper look at practical application and leads the reader step by step into creating passion-driven teams. The sub-title: How to Stop Micromanaging and Motivate People to Top Performance, is addressed early on. I love the analogy (one I have used myself many times) of equating leadership success with gardening. Being an avid gardener, I understand I don’t create a successful garden; I create favorable conditions for my garden to flourish. The same applies to team leadership. You can’t build a successful team, you can only create the conditions for your team to be successful and that begins with creating passion.
Based on this premise, Bobinski next looks at the curse of countless managers throughout history, micromanagement; how to identify it and how to cure it. Often as leaders, we need to just get out of the way and let our team do what they do. In this area I found it quite interesting that Bobinski points out how many people come to find themselves in positions of leadership; they did their jobs exceptionally well and were therefore promoted up the ladder. Sound familiar? It will also resonate with readers that just because a person did a job well and was promoted for their efforts does not mean they are leaders or that they will adapt to their new role, but because they did their jobs so well, they have a natural tendency to micromanage others. If you fall into this category, read chapter 4, then go back and read it again and again.
The next few chapters are filled with topics you would expect to find in such a book; emotional intelligence and behavioral differences, motivation and fears, synergy and maintaining open lines of communication. At chapter 8, this book really started rolling for me. Chapter 8 is titled, The Do’s and Don’ts of Delegating and is something every team leader should read. Utilizing what you find here will free up valuable time for other team leader duties, build more cohesive and motivated team members and avoid self destructing micromanagement.
Next is a brief chapter on meetings. There’s not a lot of detail here but there is a good breakdown of the various types of meetings and determining if a meeting is in fact necessary. Then we find an exceptional chapter on Listening Skills. This chapter is well worth the price of the book if you read nothing else. But don’t do that. You’ll miss a lot.
In Chapter 11 on Conflict Resolution, Bobinski introduces the reader to what he calls The Relationship Ladder. This is a 5 step tool for conflict resolution in any situation that I found very useful. In my position as a District Manager, I have a customer base of about 15,000, so I deal with angry customers on a regular basis. I wish I could have read this chapter about 15 years ago. This was another brief chapter well worth the price of the book. The book concludes with information on training programs, learning from failure and celebrating achievement. The appendix has a very nice selection and review of Recommended Reading, many of which I have not read and will be adding to my reading list.
I’m definitely putting CREATING PASSION-DRIVEN TEAMS on my list of suggested “must read” books.
Monty Rainey is a District Manager with over 14 years in the self storage industry currently overseeing 21 stores in the Austin & San Antonio, TX area. He is also a leadership coach and public speaker. For a free consultation, please contact Monty at 830-743-2139 or visit his website at http://www.montyrainey.com .
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