A Team of Leaders Book Summary - A Team of Leaders Book explained in key points
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A Team of Leaders summary

Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff

Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results

3.4 (43 ratings)
11 mins

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A Team of Leaders by Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff teaches how to transform your organization by developing leaders at all levels. It provides practical guidance and tools to build a culture of leadership, collaborate effectively, and create results.

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    A Team of Leaders
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    Accomplish shared leadership in five stages.

    Imagine you’re at the office and it’s midday. After 4 hours of typing and staring at a computer screen, how do you feel? In all likelihood, you’re bored stiff.

    You probably have moments when you’d like to forsake your computer and incite your coworkers to join you in revolutionizing the office. You’d like to be part of a team, not a hierarchy. You want to be a member of a team of leaders.

    But, as in most offices, your boss has all the decision-making power. What do you do?

    Well, your workplace may simply be in the first of five stages in the team development model. Stage one is that hierarchical model we’re used to; there’s one leader and a team of subordinates following orders.

    So how do you move past that stage?

    First, it’s important to know what the next stage looks like.

    Imagine an organization that’s agreed to strive toward developing a team of leaders. There’d no longer by one executive adjudicating on all work-related issues. Rather, every member of the team would have an equal say.

    This is the stage during which change really begins. The following stages are just the ideal consequences of that initial shift.

    Stage three, for instance, is when new leaders begin thinking about creating and taking responsibility for their own team, perhaps by recruiting new members.

    In stage four, the transition continues as more and more team members step up to the plate and take on leadership roles. For instance, instead of waiting for an assignment from your management, you’d approach HR yourself, learn the ropes and start selecting candidates to fill open positions.

    By stage five, the goal of completely shared leadership is realized, and each employee is filled with a greater sense of engagement. Because everyone now knows how to recruit people according to the company’s processes, each team is able to self-manage.

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    What is A Team of Leaders about?

    A Team of Leaders (2014) provides companies facing internal problems, such as lost productivity, high turnover and low employee commitment, with a powerful solution. These blinks outline practical methods and tools, including the five-stage team development model, to guide you toward an engaged and high-performance work environment.

    A Team of Leaders Review

    A Team of Leaders (2014) by Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff is an essential read for anyone interested in building a high-performing team. Here's why this book stands out:

    • It offers a practical approach for developing leadership qualities in every team member, resulting in increased productivity and overall success.
    • The book's focus on harnessing collective intelligence and leveraging the strengths of each team member provides a fresh and innovative perspective on leadership.
    • With its real-life case studies and actionable advice, the book keeps readers engaged and inspired, proving that leadership can be accessible and impactful.

    Best quote from A Team of Leaders

    Key principle: All your processes must support the goal of making everyone a leader.

    —Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff
    example alt text

    Who should read A Team of Leaders?

    • People seeking to improve employee engagement in their company
    • Teams, clubs and other organizations looking to boost their performance
    • Anyone interested in workplace dynamics

    About the Author

    Paul Gustavson is an organization design consultant and the founder of Organization Planning & Design, a company that creates and sustains high-performance teams around the world. He also coauthored The Power of Living by Design and Running into the Wind.

    Stewart Liff is a human resources and visual management expert, as well as the president and CEO of his own consulting group. He is the author of several other successful books, including Managing Government Employees.

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    A Team of Leaders FAQs 

    What is the main message of A Team of Leaders?

    A Team of Leaders emphasizes the importance of decentralizing leadership and empowering individuals within teams.

    How long does it take to read A Team of Leaders?

    The reading time for A Team of Leaders varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is A Team of Leaders a good book? Is it worth reading?

    A Team of Leaders is worth reading as it provides valuable insights on team leadership and fostering a collaborative culture.

    Who is the author of A Team of Leaders?

    The authors of A Team of Leaders are Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff.

    What to read after A Team of Leaders?

    If you're wondering what to read next after A Team of Leaders, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • How to Work with (Almost) Anyone by Michael Bungay Stanier
    • It's the Manager by Jim Clifton
    • The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto
    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman