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Career Books: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

January 5th, 2015 Comments off

Today starts a new weekly series here on Career Opportunities — Career Books. Each week I will highlight a new book or publication that might interest you. If you have suggestions for books I should highlight, please send them along. While most of these posts will simply be introductions to new books, I will also be posting more detailed reviews for those books I find time to read myself. I’ll use Amazon links to provide more information on each book, but many of these books may be available at your local library. Check there first! — Douglas


 

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Dysfunctions is structured more like a short story or novelette than a traditional business book. This allowed me to get very involved in the story. Indeed, I believe a good story is always the best way to approach life and business. Whether you are writing a resume or trying to solve difficult business problems, a good story can illuminate the issue better than any combination of charts and reports.

The end of the book contains a more “business-like” restatement of the lessons, for those who want a more traditional review.

More importantly, I saw many aspects of my past business dealings echoed in the book. I think that anyone who is involved in business, in any form, has faced many of these same problems and issues. I requested this book from the library after seeing a short mention, possibly just the title in some magazine I was reading. I had no preconceptions about what I might find within, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the quality and importance of Dysfunctions.

While telling a good story helped to clearly explain the concepts, there were a few times when the characters came around too quickly to the lesson.The main character, a newly minuted CEO brought in to build a better executive team, seems a bit too assured with her process, but yet exhibits some moments of fear and regret.

Overall, this is a great book and I would highly suggest that it be recommended to your employees and your peers as a way of explaining how teamwork can and will develop if everyone is committed to making it happen.

Categories: Books, Leadership Tags:

Video: Use Leadership to Build the Life You Deserve from “A Year of Leadership”

July 2nd, 2014 Comments off

Use Leadership to build the life you deserve

From “A Year of Leadership” – Career Opportunities Podcast with Douglas E. Welch)

Watch this entire presentation – “A Year of Leadership” – Career Opportunities Podcast with Douglas E. Welch

 

Transcript:

I really want to reiterate a couple of things that I have said in the whole talk, which is, leadership could be the most important skill you cultivate this year. It really could be. I really, truly believe that and I think that if you delve into leadership — if you start taking those opportunities — you’ll see that to be the case, as well, because the people who succeed this year are the people who are getting things done — making things happen. The people who are obstructionists will be minimized, because they’re simply — we don’t have the luxury of being obstructionist in an economy that’s in crisis like it is right now.

Your job, your career, your opportunities for leadership are under your control. They really are. I don’t know how to reinforce this any more. They really are, because at the very basic part of your life, getting up in the morning and putting on your clothes, sitting down and having your coffee, leadership is available at that level. You can provide a good example. You can do what you need done for yourself and, in doing that, provide an example to other people.

Finally, it is vitally important that you use leadership to build the job, the career, and even the life that you deserve. That’s actually the subtitle — the tagline — for Career Opportunities — helping to build the career you deserve. And I truly believe that leadership is an amazing part of building — at the very end of it — the life you really deserve. You deserve more out of life. We all do. We all deserve more than what we get, but no is going to come and give it to us — hand it to us on a silver platter. We have to reach out. We have to grab it. We have to “take the bull by the horns” to use a really bad metaphor/cliche/whatever, and make it happen. And that is what leadership is all about — doing something. Making it happen and building the life that you deserve.

Douglas is writer and host of Career Opportunities, a long running column and podcast dedicated to “Helping to Build the Career You Deserve!” Career Opportunities began in 1997 as a magazine column and expanded to a podcast in 2004. Douglas is also a New Media Consultant, Technology and Career Consultant with over 30 years experience in high-tech. You can find all of Douglas’ work at DouglasEWelch.com.

Categories: Education, Leadership, Podcast, Seminar, Show, Video Tags:

Video: Lead By Solving Big Problems from “A Year of Leadership”

June 25th, 2014 Comments off

Lead to solve big problems from A Year of Leadership

From “A Year of Leadership” – Career Opportunities Podcast with Douglas E. Welch)

Watch this entire presentation

Transcript:

Solve an intractable problem in the company. Take the customer support complaints you’re getting — and take the biggest question you get every day. Say you’re working on a help desk. Take the biggest question you get every day and solve it! Make it go away! Make it so the number of of calls you receive on that particular problem drop to as close to zero as you can get. That’s leadership and that’s an important thing to do for your company. Because it is going to free up all sorts of energy. It’s going to free up all sorts of money and people are going to look at it and say, “Wow! He solved — she solved — that problem?!?! Oh my god, this person must be really on the ball!” Because they’ve been starting at that same problem for months, years, whatever and never, either never identified the problem or never figured out a way to solve it. So, step up again. If you see a solution to an intractable problem like that, take advantage of it. Step in!

Douglas is writer and host of Career Opportunities, a long running column and podcast dedicated to “Helping to Build the Career You Deserve!” Career Opportunities began in 1997 as a magazine column and expanded to a podcast in 2004. Douglas is also a New Media Consultant, Technology and Career Consultant with over 30 years experience in high-tech. You can find all of Douglas’ work at DouglasEWelch.com.

Categories: Education, Leadership, Podcast, Seminar, Show, Video Tags:

Video: Take leadership when others abdicate from “A Year of Leadership”

June 18th, 2014 Comments off

Leadership take abdicate

From “A Year of Leadership” – Career Opportunities Podcast with Douglas E. Welch)

Watch this entire presentation

 

Transcript:

You have more power than you know, if you decide to reach out and take it. Oftentimes I have said before there are people simply abdicating their leadership role. They don’t want to lead. They don’t the responsibility. They don’t want the blame. They…they want to hide in their little office, close the door, and let the world kind of go on around them. Well, that’s fine — and it actually provides and opportunity for you, because when people abdicate their need to lead, you have the ability to step into that vacuum and take much more power than you might typically have.

So how can you do that? Well, one of the first things you can do is take on a faltering project. If you see a project that is failing, for whatever reason, especially if it is failing due to lack of leadership, stand up — take it on. Go to your boss. Go to your boss’ boss. Say, “You know what? I think I can take this project on and make it a success.” And do it. Scary? Of course! You bet! You’re putting your butt on the line, but you know what? You have so much to gain from that opportunity and relatively little to lose. Because, the fact is, oftentimes, large projects that are “off the tracks” have the ability to suck down the entire company. So, what does it matter if you might lose your job if the company itself might disappear?

So look for those opportunities. Look for those projects and opportunities where things are going very badly and step up and take control of them and see what you can do!

Douglas is writer and host of Career Opportunities, a long running column and podcast dedicated to “Helping to Build the Career You Deserve!” Career Opportunities began in 1997 as a magazine column and expanded to a podcast in 2004. Douglas is also a New Media Consultant, Technology and Career Consultant with over 30 years experience in high-tech. You can find all of Douglas’ work at DouglasEWelch.com.

Video: Leadership and Corporations from “A Year of Leadership”

June 11th, 2014 Comments off

Leadership corporations

From “A Year of Leadership” – Career Opportunities Podcast with Douglas E. Welch)

Watch this entire presentation

 

Transcript:

One of my big issues with corporations — large corporations — is that, inherent in their organization is the ability for people to say, “Well, I’m not the one screwing over that person. I’m just a cog in the machine over here. That’s someone else. That’s the executives. That’s the ‘company’ screwing someone over” — like the company is an entity in itself. Now, frankly, legally, yes, corporations are entity, almost a human being and just like a human being, corporations can be — let us say — dysfunctional. It is up to the people in that corporation to sense that dysfunction and work against it. If you don’t — if you don’t stand up and take the leadership and act against that dysfunction — you are a huge part of the problem. Don’t believe me? Well, ask all the people at Enron. Ask all the people who have been involved in some great scandal or some great failure. Guess what? In their heart of hearts, I think all of them know that they were part of the problem. They, at some point, had the ability to stand up and say, “No! This is not right. This is not the way to do this,” and they didn’t do it. They didn’t exercise the leadership necessary to bring this to an end. Some people, in the case of Enron, did try. They ended up in a lot of trouble. It was very risky for them. It was very scary for them, but you know what? They were right. No matter what happened at Enron, it wasn’t their fault. They were right. They were calling out the issues that needed to be addressed. They were just being ignored. 

Douglas is writer and host of Career Opportunities, a long running column and podcast dedicated to “Helping to Build the Career You Deserve!” Career Opportunities began in 1997 as a magazine column and expanded to a podcast in 2004. Douglas is also a New Media Consultant, Technology and Career Consultant with over 30 years experience in high-tech. You can find all of Douglas’ work at DouglasEWelch.com.

Video: Leadership can be uncomfortable from “A Year of Leadership”

June 4th, 2014 Comments off

Leadership uncomfortable

From “A Year of Leadership” – Career Opportunities Podcast with Douglas E. Welch)

Watch this entire presentation

 

Transcript:

Leadership can be…uncomfortable. It can mean standing up to people. It can mean making decisions that you then have to deal with the consequences of. That’s part of leadership. Again, though, it is extremely important that you do it. Now, it might mean risking your job. Now, that’s fine — risking your job is always scary — but it might mean risking your job, but saving your career.

In past columns in Career Opportunities, I have talked about the difference between a job and a career. A job is sort of what you are doing right now. A career is what you do over the lifetime of your work. It’s the sum total. Sometimes we have to sacrifice our job for the betterment of our career and leadership is an important part of that. Again, to reiterate what I said before, don’t think that leadership is somebody else’s problem. It’s your problem. It’s my problem. It’s everybody’s problem. We all need to practice leadership and address these problems.

Douglas is writer and host of Career Opportunities, a long running column and podcast dedicated to “Helping to Build the Career You Deserve!” Career Opportunities began in 1997 as a magazine column and expanded to a podcast in 2004. Douglas is also a New Media Consultant, Technology and Career Consultant with over 30 years experience in high-tech. You can find all of Douglas’ work at DouglasEWelch.com.

Video: Be a leader, not an obstructionist from “A Year of Leadership”

May 28th, 2014 Comments off

Leadership obstructionist

From “A Year of Leadership” – Career Opportunities Podcast with Douglas E. Welch)

Watch this entire presentation

 

Transcript:

“Obstructionism — getting in the way of things — should not be accepted at any level. There’s an old statement that says, “Lead. Follow or Get the Hell out of the Way!” and you know what, this is something we really need to start living by. I see so much today.  You can look to our current, you know, passage of the stimulus bill in the Congress and our budget crisis here in California and you can see people who, for whatever reason, are being strictly obstructionists. They’re not presenting any better ideas. They’re not presenting any different ideas. They’re just saying “No!” I think you can look back over the last decade — and where we are now — and see where “No!” has gotten us. Obstructionism has ground us to a halt. To the point where nothing gets done and frankly, another reason why leadership is so important is that people who get things done in the next 10 years are going to be the successful people. But people who are being obstructionist will be seen as being obstructionists and will be minimized — they’ll be bypassed. There is a great quote about the Internet that says, “The Interest senses censorship as — blah-di-blah, whatever word you care to insert there — damage and routes around it. Obstructionists will be seen as damage and they will be routed around. And I am telling you, you should be one of those people routing around the damage of obstructionism. You need to call it out where you see it. You need to identify it to other people and say, “This is merely being obstructionist atitude and we need to get around this because we have to do something. Doing nothing is simply no longer and option. I really want to hammer that home to you. Doing nothing is simply not and option any longer. 

Douglas is writer and host of Career Opportunities, a long running column and podcast dedicated to “Helping to Build the Career You Deserve!” Career Opportunities began in 1997 as a magazine column and expanded to a podcast in 2004. Douglas is also a New Media Consultant, Technology and Career Consultant with over 30 years experience in high-tech. You can find all of Douglas’ work at DouglasEWelch.com.

Video: An Opportunity to Lead from “A Year of Leadership

May 21st, 2014 Comments off

An Opportunity to Lead from

From “A Year of Leadership” – Career Opportunities Podcast with Douglas E. Welch)

Watch this entire presentation

 

Transcript:

“When someone asks you to make a decision — when someone asks you to lead, they are literally offering you the opportunity to lead. You need to do it. If the group is confused about where to do lunch, guess what? Say “Hey, we’re going to go here.”…and you know what? 9 times out of 10 they are all going to go “Yeah, let’s go!”

Groups need a leader. They need someone to point them in the right direction and frankly, a lot of people out there are looking to be led and this is an opportunity for you to do that.

So, the next time the lunch question comes up, just say, “Hey, we’re going to my favorite place. That’s that’s what we’re doing.” And I will almost guarantee you, people will follow you and you will have experienced that thrill of leadership. I hope it’s not for the first time, but it will definitely give you a taste for leadership and what it means to be a leader.

I know it sounds silly, but it’s a small thing, but it can really help you move on to bigger and better things.”

Douglas is writer and host of Career Opportunities, a long running column and podcast dedicated to “Helping to Build the Career You Deserve!” Career Opportunities began in 1997 as a magazine column and expanded to a podcast in 2004. Douglas is also a New Media Consultant, Technology and Career Consultant with over 30 years experience in high-tech. You can find all of Douglas’ work at DouglasEWelch.com.

Archive: “A Year of Leadership” with Douglas E. Welch, CareerCamp Online 2009

February 28th, 2013 Comments off

From the archives, here is a video of Douglas E. Welch presenting on “A Year of Leadership” for the very first CareerCamp, CareerCamp Online 2009.

year-of-leadership

Can’t see the video above? Watch “A Year of Leadership” on YouTube

 

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2012 Gift Guide: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

December 11th, 2012 Comments off

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Dysfunctions is structured more like a short story or novelette than a traditional business book. This allowed me to get very involved in the story. Indeed, I believe a good story is always the best way to approach life and business. Whether you are writing a resume or trying to solve difficult business problems, a good story can illuminate the issue better than any combination of charts and reports.

The end of the book contains a more “business-like” restatement of the lessons, for those who want a more traditional review.

More importantly, I saw many aspects of my past business dealings echoed in the book. I think that anyone who is involved in business, in any form, has faced many of these same problems and issues. I requested this book from the library after seeing a short mention, possibly just the title in some magazine I was reading. I had no preconceptions about what I might find within, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the quality and importance of Dysfunctions.

While telling a good story helped to clearly explain the concepts, there were a few times when the characters came around too quickly to the lesson.The main character, a newly minuted CEO brought in to build a better executive team, seems a bit too assured with her process, but yet exhibits some moments of fear and regret.

Overall, this is a great book and I would highly suggest that it be recommended to your employees and your peers as a way of explaining how teamwork can and will develop if everyone is committed to making it happen.

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

Read more…

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