Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances Hardcover – 1 Jul 2002
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From the Back Cover
"Written with exceptional clarity and wit, and teeming with original, down-to-earth advice, Leading Teams is indispensable reading for anyone who works in teams, studies them, or wonders what makes them sink or soar."
-Harvey Hornstein, Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University
"This is the book I have been waiting for on team effectiveness. Based on findings and containing insights from the leading researcher on teams, Leading Teams has everything. It is engaging, highly readable, and full of practical, useful advice."
-Edward Lawler, Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Effective Organizations, University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business
"Full of rich stories and organized into compelling cases, Leading Teams clearly communicates an elegant analysis of effective team leadership. A gem for practitioners and researchers alike."
-Chris Argyris, James B. Conant Professor Emeritus, Harvard University and Director, Monitor Group
"In Leading Teams Dr. Hackman takes his extensive knowledge of how to effectively lead teams and mixes it with insightful research and humor, providing the reader with a powerful prescription for improving team performance."
-Dave Bushy, Former Senior Vice President of Flight Operations and 747 Captain, Delta Airlines
"Richard Hackman provides real-world tools that challenge everything you thought you knew about creating high-performing teams. I found myself cheering each time he demolished a popular but wrongheaded conception of how to lead teams and provided a common sense answer in its stead."
-Michael Putz, Senior Manager, Business Development and Strategy, Cisco Systems
About the Author
J. Richard Hackman is the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Harvard University. He resides in Bethany, Connecticut, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Top customer reviews
Instead you will be informed on structural design of teams, on goal setting, and supporting services outside the team. The closest you get to intervening in the internal, social processes of the team is by providing focused, delimited coaching to the team.
The book is a fine complement to 'how shall I build and lead my team'-type of books. You could say that it takes a more distant, arm-length perspective on teams. It is the perspective of a CEO or VP who oversees many teams, but leads none of them, delegating this to team leaders or using self-managed teams.
Since the book is about leading teams without interfering (much) in the internal life of team, I used it when teaching how to manage in an organization using self-managed or self-governed teams. I observed that facilitators working on how to mature team-leader equipped teams into self-managed teams accepted the book but were not enthusiastic about it. Senior managers overseeing the organizational climate were more happy but found the book a bit 'light' (in terms of theoretical weight). Both groups found the cases well-written but filling up many pages.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Hackman model appears to before concerned with setting the stage for teams to perform well instead of directly helping teams to improve. Therefore this model doesn't say much about conflict management, managing diversity and authority, and a bunch of other important stuff to keep the team running. It's also lacking as a guidance for leaders to improve their performance as Hackman has a tendency to say "this is very hard to balance" without giving ideas on how to balance the issue, and leaving the readers much in the dark after reading the book (thoug I admit it's too much to ask for, this is a team book and not a leadership book after all).
For more sophisticated readers and who has previous exposure to team theories, I would recommend Roger Schwarz's The Skilled Facilitator. It gives a good summary in first 2 chapters and quickly moves on to more hands on and actionable recommendations. For those with no previous experience in this field before, Hackman model is a classic model and it might be worth a read. Just don't stop here as this book will not answer all your questions.
I am not disappointed. The text has many real-world (understandable) examples and information with explanations that are well thought out and presented. If you're tired of business books that are an academic's view of the real world, you will find this book refreshing. It is real-world, easily read, explains a lot and is worth every penny.
If you manage or work in a dysfunction team or group, or just want to understand them, this is your book. If the "written by a Harvard Professor" label worries you into thinking that this book is just an academic exercise, don't let it. This book is readable and contains a lot of good information and examples.
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