Just Listen

When we the last time you met someone who changed your mind? When was the last time you changed someone else’s mind? Just Listen is probably the book I’ve bought the most copies of and re-read the most times. I can’t recommend it enough. The reason is this: the book gives you very practical tips on influencing others through helping them feel heard, valuable, and understood.

Take the time to read or listen to this book because it will change your approach to 1-on-1’s, it will change personal relationships, it will challenge you to think about how well you listen to others so that they feel a connection (Law 10 from The 21 Irrefutable Laws).

Do you need someone to help you fix a situation, get a project done, or deliver a presentation? It can happen withat a comm and and contology approach, but it might be painfl and low quality. You can get their buy in with the personalized techniques presented in this book that will help draw people to you and up trust, which we all know we need on teams.  This is what I would consider a “glue” book. It ties together through useful tools and techniques the principles you know you need to apply in all areas of your life.

– the MGMT


The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

If you’ve ever been on a team and scratched your head as to why it sucked so bad when everyone on the team was good individually – or almost everyone was good, but that one jerk who needed to re-evaluate their personal agrandizement quotient – then you’ve probably faced The Five Dysfunctions of a Team head on. Patrick Lencioni writes in a fiction/parable format about the key elements of a team that is individually made up of stars, but collectively a black hole of suck. He identifies key issues that are wrong with teams starting with trust. Reading this short novel was sometimes awkward thinking how much of the problem was personally relevant and familiar.

The Five Dysfunctions are as follows:

  1. The dysfunction of lack of trust
  2. The dysfunction of lack of healthy conflict
  3. The dysfunction of lack of commitment
  4. The dysfunction of lack of accountability
  5. The dysfunction of inattention to results

These dysfunctions build on top of one another so the team in the book is walked through building trust to lead to a place for the sub-sequent dysfunctions to be dismantled. Ideally progress within the team will lead to higher functioning.

I have bought this book for myself to re-read, I’ve recommended it for others, and I would love for you to tell me what you think, too.

If you’re not sure these principles are for you and your team check out this youtube video of the author. It is at a Catholic event of some sort and contains a small amount of Catholic interjection, but predominantly for uses on the 5 dysfunctions.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

I have read a number of books on leadership, and I intend to read many more, but The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership stands out as a great summary list of qualities you want to cultivate in yourself.  It was so impressive that I committed the list to memory. The book’s purpose is to give you a list of laws, or attributes, that you need to be aware of, understand their value, and then to encourage you to seek to develop those attributes in yourself.  The Laws are:

  1. The Law of the Lid
  2. The Law of Influence
  3. The Law of Process
  4. The Law of Navigation
  5. The Law of Addition
  6. The Law of Solid Ground
  7. The Law of Respect
  8. The Law of Intuition
  9. The Law of Magnetism
  10. The Law of Connection
  11. The Law of the Inner Circle
  12. The Law of Empowerment
  13. The Law of the Picture
  14. The Law of Buy-In
  15. The Law of Victory
  16. The Law of Momentum
  17. The Law of Priorities
  18. The Law of Sacrifice
  19. The Law of Timing
  20. The Law of Explosive Growth
  21. The Law of Legacy

I expect to go into these in more detail in future blog posts because each one has an entire chapter dedicated to it and writing a terse description of each law is probably a hair too terse.

As a leader understanding how to unpack each one of these principles will help you guide your team to excellengce and to help them lead others to excellence.  It will build a Leadership Pipeline that can handle the varying demands on each layer because they have a root system that is feeding them, growing them, and allowing them to handle the daily tasks of a leader.