Book tip from Michael Donnelly
This book may well become your go-to reference for how to make your next meeting the one that changes everything. This is not a fad new way – rather a manual with both light and heavy implications for leaders to change everything. A word of caution – you need to be a fairly confident and brave leader (or in a pickle) to get the implications of this book.
Lead More Control Less advises you how to lead more and control less. If that sounds like a challenge to you as well as advice, you are right. The book tells it quite straight; that the challenges we regularly face today require a different, better leadership, and this is your blueprint.
The book assumes you are in meetings often and to be fair, if you are a leader, you probably are. It allows the reader to make big changes to the way they manage interactions they are responsible for and indeed challenges them to do it right from the start. This goes for those two-hour staff meetings right up to the big-ticket showdowns with hundreds of participants.
The book takes you on a whistle stop tour of eight big conclusions that you are invited to try out for yourself. The authors name drop some of the big giants of change management, systems dynamics, and organisational development, but not in an insiders way but more like how we learn from the 20 minute TED talks – basically a lot of stuff condensed down so that we feel like we are familiar with the work of some of them like Solomon Asch, or Yvonne Agazarian.
Each key insight in the book is accompanied by a story from a leader who puts it in context. Ikea, Department for Corrections, Local Government in Northern Ireland, UK NHS leaders, consulting organisations all feature with their own leaders’ voices. This makes a nice bridge from theory to real world that helps.
It is clear that Janoff and Weisbord realise the importance of leadership being engaged in this work. Given the challenges the world is facing, there is a desperate and urgent need for methods that engage more, that are more people focused, that are robust enough to withstand very contentious and very insecure settings. These tools have proven themselves in every setting and it is time they were more widely understood, valued and adopted and that role falls to leaders who “get it”. This book is far from a sales pitch and more a heartfelt offering to the world of a compassionate way of unlocking the potential of people to achieve great things together.