Leading the unleadable How to manage mavericks, cynics, divas and other difficult people

Alan Willett

Book - 2017

Difficult people are the worst part of a manager's job. Willett teaches you a straight forward process that gently, yet effectively, improves behaviors by revealing a core truth: most people actually want to contribute results, not cause headaches. What sets great managers apart is how they turn their problem players into productive team players.

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : AMACOM [2017]
Language
English
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
xiv, 225 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN
9780814437605
0814437605
Main Author
Alan Willett (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

One of the hallmarks of great leadership is mind-set—or, quite simply, the ability to power through problems and issues and work with them as opportunities. Consultant Willett teaches us how as he first defines what constitutes excellent leadership and then goes through to provide diagnoses, actions, and follow-ups to remedy people problems, all with an eye to improvement and success. It's a logical organizational design and learning approach, supported by a few realistic case studies and some very practical advice. A few examples: start with the belief that everyone has good intentions. Accept reality, but do not let it define you. Treat trouble as information-rich data. Every chapter concludes with reflection points, a summary of key concepts for readers with time constraints. And charts scattered throughout aid in decision making, especially for issue-prone questions like firing/retaining an employee. Positive, and appropriate enough for new and seasoned managers to use as a guide to the divas around us. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

How can business managers deal with difficult employees and difficult teams? Largely by listening and coaching, explains Willett, president of the consulting firm Oxseeker, in this thin, familiar guide. According to him, leaders need to approach people problems proactively and without fear—exactly what most of them don't do. Citing a track record that includes work with hundreds of leaders, Willett takes a highly communication-based approach, walking readers through various issues. These include the difficulties of leading, "accept the call of exceptional leadership," cultivating the right mindset, identifying trouble (and troublemakers), keeping employees performing, fixing problems before they arise, nurturing talent, and answering the toughest question of all: can these trouble employees be helped, or is it better to simply give up and let them go? The breakdown of different kinds of troubled teams—incompetent, reactive, divided, etc.—may be helpful to readers trying to diagnose a problem. However, the tips for how to sense trouble in the first place (e.g., "talk to people") and set performance expectations ("do things right from the beginning") are too obvious, and too clunkily presented, to be the salvation of the floundering business leader. Agent: John T. Willig, Literary Services. (Nov.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Difficult employees are by far the worst part of a manager’s job. Control freaks. Narcissists. Slackers. Cynics. Their outbursts, irrational demands, gripes, and countless other disruptions need to be dealt with, and you are the unlucky one with that job description. But every manager has to deal with these people. What separates the great managers is their ability to turn them into productive team players.Leading the Unleadable turns this seemingly difficult chore into a straight-forward process that gently, yet effectively, improves behaviors. And it begins with understanding a core truth: most people actually want to contribute results, not cause headaches. When the manager resets to that fundamental principle, the potential for change can reveal itself in even the most hopeless situations. Written by an insider in the tech industry, where personality issues routinely wreck projects, the book explains how to:• Master the necessary mindset• Explain the problem calmly in a short feedback session• Get a commitment to change, then follow up• Coach others to replicate the process• Develop the situational awareness required to spot future trouble before it hits Are you a great manager? Of course you believe you are. So don’t just put up with your difficult employees. Anyone can do that. Turn them into the tremendous team players everyone wants them to be!

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Every manager has to deal with difficult employees. However, what separates the great managers is their ability to turn them into productive team players.Control freaks. Narcissists. Slackers. Cynics. Their outbursts, irrational demands, gripes, and countless other disruptions need to be dealt with, and you are the unlucky one with that job description.This book turns this seemingly difficult chore into a straight-forward process that gently, yet effectively, improves behaviors. It all begins with understanding a core truth: most people actually want to contribute results, not cause headaches. When the manager resets to that fundamental principle, the potential for change can reveal itself in even the most hopeless situations.Written by tech industry expert Alan Willett, Leading the Unleadable explains how to:Master the necessary mindsetExplain the problem calmly in a short feedback sessionGet a commitment to change, then follow upCoach others to replicate the processDevelop the situational awareness required to spot future trouble before it hitsAre you a great manager? Of course you believe you are. So don’t just put up with your difficult employees. Anyone can do that.Turn them into the tremendous team players everyone wants them to be!

Review by Publisher Summary 3

You don’t have to just learn to live with “problem people” (or fire them!). Transform the troublesome into the tremendous!