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Getting It Done: How to Lead When You're Not in Charge Paperback – 1 Mar 2010
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"This timely, practical, skill-based book beautifully answers the typical seminar complaint, This is good, but the person who really needs it is not here.' It'll inspire you with the power of example, clear thinking, and the tools to pull off successful, sustainable collaboration with or without formal authority."-- Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People""Negotiation master Roger Fisher has done it again. "Getting It Done" is a highly useful, clear, no-nonsense guide to successful persuasion and influence. It should become the best friend to managers, professionals, and ambitious working people everywhere."-- Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author of "World Class" and "Rosabeth Moss Kanter on the Frontiers of Management""Profound lessons made simple by one of the world's great teachers."-- Ronald A. Heifetz, author of "Leadership Without Easy Answers""To get the work done today, you must be able to collaborate. Roger Fisher and Alan Sharp have provided the best road map that I have seen for collaborating, navigating, and leading your way through ambiguity and unclear lines of authority."-- Philip J. Harkins, president and CEO, Linkage Incorporated"Improving the way we work with others requires changing both their habits and our own. "Getting It Done" shows how to produce the kind of joint behavior that produces results."-- Robert B. Cialdini, author of "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion""This book is must reading for those seeking to maximize their contribution to the constructive work of the world."-- Charles T. Munger, vice chairman, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
About the Author
Alan Sharp has been a senior manager in the eletronics and chemical industries. He is now a management consultant based in England and a director of Coverdale Scanas, a Danish consultancy firm. He has trained many top executives in business and governmental agencies in building effective teams.
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PURPOSE. Formulate the purpose of the team in terms of results to be achieved. In order to ensure that the rest of the team buys into the purpose, then it is essential that the team is involved in formulating the purpose. Furthermore, set purposes that will be attained in the short, medium and long term. It is essential to ensure a balance among the three time frames.
THINKING. The authors note with some wit that we, as individuals, think haphazardly and this is compounded when we work in teams. Therefore, it is important when collectively solving problems to think systematically from the data (the evidence for the problem) through diagnosis (possible causes of then problem) and direction (strategy to resolve problem) to what to do next (immediate tactics to realise the strategy).
LEARNING. This was the most useful insight that I gleaned from the book. The authors suggest that one learns from experience and review practice as often as possible in the team. This thinking may sound trite but it exposed my predisposition to separate planning the work from doing actually doing the work.
ENGAGEMENT. Our job descriptions almost never description all that we can do at work to improve collaboration. Even though one may have a `technical' job description one can still offer to engage with colleagues to improve collaboration.
FEEDBACK. Authors describe three uses of feedback: for evaluation, appreciation or change of behaviour.
The authors' style is easy to follow, punchy, matter-of-fact but somewhat tentative. They portray the book as `work in progress' and even go to some length to state that it (the book) may not be for everyone in the corporate hierarchy. The authors draw on their vast experience in teaching negotiation courses at Harvard. One potential drawback to the book's matter-of-fact style is that engaging case studies are thin on the ground. I thought that the paucity of human stories in the book deprived it of some intellectual bite.
Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Getting it Done. I see this book as a reference that will help me develop some of the behaviours that I want to see replicated in my immediate team at work. For ease of reading, clarity of delivery and aptness to my work situation, Getting it Done deserves my 4 stars.
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