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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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 658.3045/Willett Checked In
New York, NY : AMACOM [2017]
Main Author
Alan Willett (author)
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
xiv, 225 pages ; 23 cm
  • Preface
  • Part 1. The Call to Exceptional Leadership
  • 1. The Leadership Crisis Point
  • 2. Accept the Call of Exceptional Leadership
  • 3. The Mindset to Lead the Unleadable
  • Part 2. The Leader in Action: Spotting Trouble, Dealing With Trouble
  • 4. Fine-Tune Your Radar for Trouble
  • 5. Take Action: Transforming the Troublesome
  • 6. Follow Through: A Bridge to Enduring Improvement
  • 7. Decision Time: Remove or Improve?
  • Part 3. The Leader in Action: Preventing Trouble
  • 8. The Need for Mountains
  • 9. Set Expectations of Excellence
  • 10. Expecting Excellence Every Day
  • 11. Exceptional Starts Lead to Exceptional Results
  • Part 4. Leading Leaders
  • 12. Lead Leaders: Growing Proven Ability
  • 13. Leader, Lead Thyself: Exceptional Self-Leadership
  • 14. Closing Notes on Transforming the Troublesome to the Tremendous
  • Index
Review by Booklist Review

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.--Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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[ing] 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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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