Leading the Unleadable

How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People

 Leading the Unleadable

Author: Alan Willett
Pub Date: November 2016
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814437605
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814437612

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Excerpt

PREFACE

As a leader, when you have to deal with difficult people, what do you do?

Pull them off the project?

Chastise them in public?

Ignore the situation and expect the team to handle it?

Put them on a “performance improvement plan” and make it an HR problem?

Minimize their responsibilities?

Move them to a different group to make them someone else’s problem?

Too often leaders ignore their people problems for too long because they’re afraid of conflict or, if they do act, handle the situation poorly due to inexperience or not knowing what to do. Complicating matters, the difficult people might be even more difficult to replace or the leader could have a close relationship with them.

Not acting can damage everyone around the difficult people, leading others to leave before the difficult people themselves quit. The reverse can be just as bad. Sometimes leaders terminate difficult people too quickly, which harms the group by giving it no chance to change the difficult people and reclaim them.

How you handle this situation will define you as a leader to everyone else, marking the difference between a good manager and an exceptional one.

The exceptional leader will face the problem fearlessly, directly and quickly with the skill to transform the difficult people into the tremendous, both lifting up the individual and energizing the whole team in the process.

Throughout my career I have been focused on, learning about, and pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an exceptional leader. I have worked with managers at every level from more than 100 companies in more than15 countries, companies ranging from the large and established, such as Microsoft, Intuit, Oracle, NASA, and HP, to small startups. I have learned repeatedly that exceptional managers know with great aspirations can come great difficulties. And I have learned from the bad managers how not to overcome those difficulties, especially the people problems. As a result, this book will show you:

⁃ The kinds of trouble leaders face

⁃ The measurements of success for exceptional leadership

⁃ The principles behind the ability to handle the most troublesome situations

⁃ How to develop the radar to spot trouble early

⁃ How to deal with trouble

⁃ How to prevent trouble

⁃ How to become an exceptional leader

Exceptional leaders have one obligation above all. Whether they are managing an entire company or a team, a division, a single project, or simply a meeting, they must focus on the group, not the individual, and if an individual is hurting the group, that person must be brought back into the fold or cut out altogether. Leading the Unleadable is your guide to doing so.

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