Friday, December 21, 2007

Leader, Lead Thyself

I just finished reading Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team's Passion, Creativity, and Productivity and I heartily recommend it to every Mary Kay red jacket, team leader and sales director. Here's the review I wrote for

It seems to me that many team improvement books talk about what you can tell the team they need to do better. This book focuses on the leader and what the leader has to do better first before any improvement will happen in the team. Basically, the leader must take action to increase connection between themself and the team (and also between teammembers). Connection involves vision, value and voice.

Lack of connection causes people to be disengaged from their work. "The Gallup Organization conservatively estimates the annual economic cost to the American economy from the approximately 22 million American workers who are extremely negative or 'actively disengaged' to be between $250 and $300 Billion."

In the first part of the book, the authors define connection and tell the stories of leaders who worked on connection and also those who were disconnectors. Then the authors define vision, value and voice and again tell the stories of leaders who were succesful at each of these activities. The final part of the book is 20 days of short sections that each examine how a particular leader increased connection in their organization.

Throughout the book you'll learn about the good and bad leadership tactics of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Adams, Bill Belichick, Patricia Ward Biederman, General Omar Bradley, Tom Brady, Warren Buffett, Winston Churchill, Daniel Daly, Marquis de Lafayette, Peter Drucker, Albert Einstein, Dwight D Eisenhower, Queen Elizabeth I, Fred Epstein, Richard Feynman, Benjamin Franklin, Frederick the Great, Andrew Grove, Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Jeffrey Kim, General Robert E. Lee, George C. Marshall, Russ Mitchell, Anne Mulcahy, Dame Anita Roddick, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Howard Schultz, Richard Tait, Pastor Rick Warren, George Washington, Alexander Whit, John Robert Wooden, and others.

I found it to be very interesting and persuasive. I see several areas where I could improve my management style.

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