3 takeaways from ‘The Leadership Playbook’

^ Realistic goals are based on our past and are limited by our experiences; logical goals are based on what can be done based on time, capacity, and commitment.

^ Make it important and it will be important: Goal setting is a benefit. Everyone agrees, yet most of us keep talking about it and don’t do it, so just do it!

^ We believe our kids can be anything they want to be in life and yet we think we can’t change careers or be number one in business because we haven’t done it before. Whom are we lying to?

The Leadership Playbook: Creating a Coaching Culture to Build Winning Business Teams is now available at your library.

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Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

Author: Simon Sinek
Publisher:  Portfolio (January 7, 2014)
ISBN:  978-1-59184-532-4

The New York Times-bestselling follow-up to Simon Sinek’s global hit, Start With Why.

Why do only a few people get to say “I love my job”? It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong.

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled.

This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. 

In his travels around the world since the publication of his bestseller Start with Why, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams were able to trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives were offered, were doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. 

“Officers eat last,” he said.

Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What’s symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: great leaders sacrifice their own comfort—even their own survival—for the good of those in their care.

This principle has been true since the earliest tribes of hunters and gatherers. It’s not a management theory; it’s biology. Our brains and bodies evolved to help us find food, shelter, mates and especially safety. We’ve always lived in a dangerous world, facing predators and enemies at every turn. We thrived only when we felt safe among our group.

Our biology hasn’t changed in fifty thousand years, but our environment certainly has. Today’s workplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoia  and self-interest. But the best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

The Circle of Safety leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belong and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities. 

As he did in Start with Why, Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories from a wide range of examples, from the military to manufacturing, from government to investment banking.

The biology is clear: when it matters most, leaders who are willing to eat last are rewarded with deeply loyal colleagues who will stop at nothing to advance their leader’s vision and their organization’s interests. It’s amazing how well it works.

Rules & Tools for Leaders

Author: Perry M. Smith & Jeffrey W. Foley
Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 4th edition, updated & revised (August 6, 2013)
ISBN: 978-0-399-16351-7

Rules and Tools for Leaders offers insightful and useful advice that avoids the flavor-of-the-month management theories that are long on speculation and short on practical application.

This is a fully revised, updated, and reorganized edition of a classic management handbook. It never loses sight of the big picture of how any company should operate. It provides useful and time-tested advice that can be implemented immediately to the benefit of the entire organization. From defining the qualities of outstanding leaders to putting good leadership skills into practice, from managing yourself and others to handling the difficult tests that leadership brings, this book includes valuable checklists and reviews. In addition, it highlights some of the best leadership programs and presents a host of compelling and instructive anecdotes that illustrate the ideas throughout.

The Leadership Playbook

Author: Nathan Jamail 
Publisher: Avery (July 31, 2014)
ISBN:  978-1-592-40866-5

There are enormous differences between managing and coaching. Yet many companies and organizations encourage their leaders to coach teams without ever teaching them how and without creating a culture that supports coaching.

Nathan Jamail—a leading consultant, professional speaker, and the president of his own group of businesses—trains coaches at several Fortune 500 companies and learned that it takes not only different skills to achieve success, but a truly effective coach needs an organizational culture that creates and multiplies the success of every motivated team member. The Leadership Playbook shows leaders the skills necessary to be an effective coach and to build effective teams by:

  • Fostering employees’ belief in the culture of a company
  • Resolving issues proactively rather than reactively and creating an involvement that constantly pushes employees to be their best
  • Focusing on the more humane principles of leadership—gratitude, positivity, and recognition—that keep morale high
  • Holding teams and individuals accountable
  • Constantly recruiting talent (“building the bench”) rather than filling positions only when they are empty

Combining research, interviews, and inspiring stories with the lessons that have earned Jamail the respect of the world’s foremost corporations including CISCO, FedEx, Sprint, the U.S. Army, and State Farm; The Leadership Playbook will dominate the category for years to come.