mardi 14 février 2012

The Synergist by Les McKeown - Book review

The Synergist

How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success

By: Les McKeown

Published: January 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 0230120555
ISBN-13: 978-0230120556
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

"Groups and teams lie at the heart of every successful enterprise - in fact, they are the heart of a successful enterprise", writes president and CEO of Predictable Success, Les McKeown, in his insightful and results oriented book The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success. The author describes how successful companies are identified through their effective teams, while unsuccessful organizations are typified by ineffective and even counter-productive teams. The author shares his strategies and techniques for transforming teams riddled with gridlock and ineffectiveness into teams that achieve outstanding results.

Les McKeown recognizes the critical importance that teams play in the overall productivity and success of an organization. The problem, according to the author, is not that teams don't include the right people. The core challenge is in solving the gridlock and stalemates resulting from the conflicting personality types who compose those teams. With each of these individuals bringing their own agendas to the team, they prevent any real decisions being made and any positive action taking place. As a result, the organization suffers from lower productivity, and reduced profitability. Les McKeown demonstrates how to end these unnecessary personality clashes, and change the entire dynamic of the team from one of inaction to one of outstanding productivity.

Les McKeown (photo left) understands that dysfunction in teams and fear of making any changes, through a lack of trust and failed communication, are only symptoms of a deeper underlying problem. For the author, the real root causes of the stalemate and inaction of teams and groups rests in the personality clashes of its main characters. Les McKeown identifies three character types that derail any team or group. The three personality types are:

* The Visionary: Possessor of big ideas and little action
* The Operator: Wanting to end the meeting and return to the status quo
* The Processor: Detail oriented to the point of grinding things to a halt

To counter these three personality types, and their movement toward complete gridlock if their agendas are not met, Les McKeown introduces The Synergist. This fourth personality must recognize the incompatibility of the three dysfunctional personality types. For the good of the organization, The Synergist has no other option, but to put aside personal agendas and ego, and draw out the strengths of each personality archetype in the group. The Synergist must become the force for real change in the organization through implementation of the skills needed to develop superior teamwork.

For me, the power of the book is how Les McKeown identifies the root causes of team dysfunction and grilock, and provides the strategies and techniques for The Synergist to lead high performance teams. Les McKeown moves beyond the usual prescriptions that only treat the symptoms of team stalemate and inaction, and delves into the real core problem facing teams and their lack of decisions and actions.

The author offers the solution in the form of The Synergist who balances the different personality types, honors each of their positions, and builds connections between them for the betterment of the organization. The book also contains some very effective and hands on self-assessment tools to evaluate existing individual skills, and for developing the skills of an effective Synergist.

I highly recommend the thought provoking and transformational book The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success by Les McKeown, to any organizational leaders, executives, managers, and other decision makers who seek to to end their team gridlock and increase organizational productivity. This book will change the very core dynamics of your team from personal agendas and stalemate, to one of real team work and effective results.

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