By combining his “business fable” with how-to advice, Swindall aims to get managers’ attention focused on employee engagement. Swindall says three kinds of leadership are essential to building engagement:
- Directional leadership builds consensus for change. Swindall covers how to identify and recruit support from the 26 percent of your employees who are truly engaged.
- Motivational leadership finds what engages employees and uses it. Swindall looks at creating positive motivation instead of negative consequences, asking employees what motivates them, and celebrating small successes with quick rewards and daily celebrations.
- Organizational leadership puts a strong team in place to keep engagement alive, even if top leadership changes. Swindall explains how to identify your talent needs, recruit and hire better, build bridges between generations at work, and empower employees by giving them real authority and full information.
Aimed at employees who are transitioning from being team members to leading a team, Gary S. Topchik’s The First-Time Manager’s Guide to Team Building (AMACOM, 2007) walks readers through team basics and then delves into specific team-building steps. Next, Topchik covers building team spirit and handling difficult situations. Team basics cover what a team is, the differences between ongoing and project-based teams, the selection of team members and team leaders, and the four models of teams. For readers who are moving from being team members to being team leaders, the book looks at skills, but also analyzes roadblocks such as mixed messages from the organization about team value, or the tendency of some organizations to punish successful teams by piling on others’ unfinished work. A chapter on dealing with team problems offers five approaches to conflict and explains when each approach is most effective. The author also walks readers through situations involving accountability, personality clashes and other team conflicts.
Author Claudio Fernandez-Araoz says he has seen this too often: When asked how they make people decisions, managers or executives just point at their midsections and declare confidently, “It’s all in here.” In other words, they believe their guts do the work and do it well.
In Great People Decisions (John Wiley & Sons, 2007), Fernandez-Araoz, a partner in the executive search firm Egon Zehnder International, says managers and executives can learn to make better people choices. He looks at:
- Why is it hard to make great choices about people?
- What do you look for?
- Where do you look?
- How do you appraise people?
- How do you attract and motivate people?
- How do you integrate the best people?
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