Practical tools for dealing with people problems at work
Most businesspeople know how to manage their business down to the last product requirement and decimal place, but they don’t know how to lead their people with the same degree of sophistication, according to Timothy Thomas and Charles Tilden in their book Leading on Purpose: Sage Advice and Practical Tools for Becoming the Complete Leader. Star performers often race ahead of the people problems they leave in their wake, until they reach a point where their continued success depends on leadership skills they do not possess.
The authors go on to describe a number of very practical leadership skills, including:
- How to recognize the differences between bureaucratic, supportive, directive, traditional and collaborative leadership styles
- Key elements of strategic planning
- How to overcome common obstacles to effective communication
- How to inspire motivation and engagement in employees
- Techniques for giving effective positive and correctional feedback
- Understanding conflict and different ways of handling it
- How to optimize the execution of organizational strategy
- How to anticipate and overcome resistance to change
The book is presented in a number of chapters of practical information interspersed with fictional conversations between “Frankie” and his grandmother. The fictional conversations were presumably introduced to make the book more engaging, but I suspect that they will instead give many reluctant leaders an excuse to dismiss the book as irrelevant. In my opinion, the book contains an extremely practical and useful collection of leadership tools.