Leading the Unleadable: How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People
Successful leadership is an art. Whether it’s a small, project-specific group or an entire corporation, keeping the ship on a steady course toward its destination takes insight, experience, and the ability to keep team members working forward and not at cross purposes.
There is almost always someone in a group who seems determined to undermine the group’s accomplishments. Often that person is also a star employee. Alan Willett, leadership consultant to many of the best-known names in the tech industry, has studied these leadership challenges diligently and has a solid strategy for dealing with them. He tells readers/leaders that the first step is to turn inward and thoroughly assess their own mindset, as well as the foundation and communication network that is in place. When a leader changes their perspective, creates solid expectations, provides coaching and feedback, and follows through consistently, difficult team members are given the chance to change to a more productive work behavior. When an employee is hampering the group effort and refuses to change, the decision to move them off the project will be the clear, and obviously necessary, solution if a solid leadership foundation is firmly in place and active.
Willett’s strategy is spelled out in four sections with Reflection Points at the end of each chapter to aid the reader in processing the information. His system will give leaders at all levels the skills and confidence to give a group the freedom they need to be creative and productive without letting them wreak havoc with the team’s agenda.