Creating Passion-Driven Teams

Here's an overview of what's in each chapter:

Chapter 1: Are You a Builder, or a Climber?


Dozens of management and leadership styles have been identified in recent decades. Common styles are Charismatic, Bureaucratic, Machiavellian, Democratic, Authoritarian, and Laissez-faire, to name a few. But there’s a thread, or attribute, that runs through every management and leadership style, and it involves how people interact with and value the people around them. Viewing this attribute as a spectrum, we have 'Builders' at one end and 'Climbers' at the other. Those on the Builder side of the spectrum devote their efforts to building up people in their organization. Climbers are more concerned about achieving their own personal goals and often climb over other people to reach them. 


Chapter 2 - The Management Matrix 


For teams and organizations to function at their best, rely on this simple matrix that describes the roles and responsibilities for different levels in an organization. The diagram boils down the stereotypical organizational chart to three basic levels and clarifies core roles and responsibilities. Even if you wear multiple hats, you'll be better equipped at knowing what to do when wearing each hat.  


Chapter 3 - The Cause of Micromanagement 


When people are promoted to manager or team leader, they can have a difficult time shifting their thinking out of their area of specialty and into their new responsibilities. Even if they’re lucky enough to get management training, rarely do they get a chance to practice what they learned. People want to succeed. This chapter highlights the psychology of what takes place in a new team leader's mind when they try to succeed by over-managing. 


Chapter 4 - The Cure for Micromanagement


The cure or prevention micromanagement starts with developing a new mindset. Clarification of responsibilities for the role of team leader/manager is necessary, and is helped by solid training and/or mentoring. At times, curing micromanagement can be difficult because it requires learning an entirely new skill set and leaving an older, tried-and-true mindset behind. Also covered: How to cure micromanagement even if your company won't help you. 


Chapter 5 - Become an Expert About the People You Manage


People are complex creatures, but by learning about Emotional Intelligence (EQ), managers can create positive work environments that shorten the time it takes to create passion-driven teams. The quickest way to understanding the different ways people operate--and improve your EQ--is by using assessments. Numerous assessment tools exist, and each one focuses on a particular aspect of personality. This chapter provides an EQ overview and reviews some basic assessments to get you started.    ALSO LINK TO THE ASSESSMENTS TAB 


Chapter 6 - The Myths of Motivation


Saying that people "lack motivation" is a myth. It’s common vernacular but bad psychology. To create passion-driven teams, we need a clear understanding about what "motivation" really means and what really drives people to do what they do. People must move for their reasons, not ours. Too often people think they are "motivating" poeple when in truth they are manipulating them. Learning this vital difference will make a huge difference in creating passion-driven teams. 


Chapter 7 - The Power of Water Cooler Conversations


Water cooler conversations get their name because of how people have traditionally gathered around a workplace water cooler to discuss topics of interest. Sometimes the conversations are nothing but small talk, but sometimes they’re serious. This chapter covers research on "The Neuroscience of Leadership" and how to apply those findings to keep people engaged and passionate about their work. 


Chapter 8 - The Do’s and Don’ts of Delegating


Team leaders must correctly interpret the vision given them by leadership, translate that interpretation into manageable pieces, and delegate the work appropriately. Using easy-to-unerstand analogies and helpful tips provided by experts, this chapter explains how a team leader can transfer responsibility, authority, and accountability so that team members own their work and more gets done! 


Chapter 9 Maintain a Balanced Diet of Meetings


The purpose of meetings is to keep your teams healthy and growing in the direction of their goals. Using the analogy of the four food groups, this chapter explores the four types of meetings you should conduct, and when.  Bonus: Also included is a way to determine the value of your meetings so you can make any needed adjustments and maintain a “balanced diet” for optimal fitness. 


Chapter 10 - Listen, or This Won’t Work


Misunderstandings caused by poor listening not only cost companies hundreds of millions of dollars each year, they prevent the creation of passion-driven teams.  'Hearing' happens passively; 'listening' requires an active, conscious choice. True listening is a learned skill, and this chapter provides a "mechanical analysis" of how to do that skill. 


Chapter 11 -  Resolve to Resolve All Conflict


Life happens. Deadlines loom, clients get upset, and family pressures can consume our thoughts. A million things can lead to unresolved conflict, and when that happens, a dialog can quickly break down into two monologues with no progress toward resolution. This chapter builds on the previous chapter and provides additional "mechanical analysis" for the steps needed to resolve conflict. Clients are amazed at how well this works.  You will be, too. 


Chapter 12  -  Poor Training: A Leading Cause of Trouble


It is difficult for people to get passionate about something they don’t understand, let alone something they can’t do. The simple facts are this: Telling is not training, and the transfer of knowledge, skills, and attitudes does not happen by osmosis. This chapter provides a 4-step "skill-transfer method" and also examines hard data to show that many companies can improve their bottom lines by increasing their training budget. 


Chapter 13  -  Failure is an Option


With all due respect to Gene Kranz's fine book about NASA (titled Failure is Not an Option) and the fact that in some cases failure is truly not an option (like open-heart surgery), most of the time lack of success is bearable and should be considered a learning opportunity. Every successful person has experienced failure, and the same is true about passionate teams. This chapter explores how to deal with failure.


Chapter 14 - Celebrate Achievement


Many companies talk about how their employees are their most valuable assets, yet when you read articles and books about protecting business assets, never do they mention employees. This chapter talks about celebrating the achievement of our employees, and caring about them much like art collectors care about their prized oil paintings. After all, when passion-driven teams emerge, they are very valuable, so we should protect them!

This column links to additional helps mentioned in the book!

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