Sunday, 21 April 2013

Help the Helper

Finished April 21
Help the Helper: building a culture of extreme teamwork by Kevin Pritchard and John Eliot

The authors of this book are Kevin Pritchard, the GM for the Indian Pacers, who has managed other basketball teams and played for five NBA teams, and John Eliot, a university professor and consultant to pro atheletes and athletic coaches, as well as a consultant to a variety of businesses and medical centers. Because of their background a lot of the experiences here, and the examples illustrating those experiences are from the sports world, specifically the basketball world. As I am not a watcher of sports in general or basketball in particular, I found some of this hard to follow.
Despite that, this book was very interesting in how it talked about teamwork. Every chapter did have at least one business example as well, as followup instructions on implementation within the reader's circumstances.
The first chapter explains the Help the Helper philosophy, the second is about creating at atmosphere of unselfishness within your team, the third is about hiring for what is best for the team rather than individual excellence, the fourth about moving away from the carrot and stick method of motivation to a motivation based on spirit, the fifth about managing the energy of the team as opposed to the people individually, the sixth about avoiding distracting communication, the seventh about real toughness involving resiliency and authenticity, the eighth about a 3D approach to measuring: observing, listening, and statistics, not relying on numbers as the driver, and finally, the ninth about being an unleader, a leader who carries the load so the team can do what they are out there to do, who looks for ways to make the team's work the team's work and not a task assigned by the leader.
I liked the idea of looking to the sources of success for your team, finding out what drives the team, and then finding team members who are good at those things, and then working to develop and enhance those skills in all team members. Lots of great ideas here to make teams work as real teams not just a bunch of people who work in the same place.

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