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Foreword - Pg. xiv

xiv Foreword The world of work has changed more radically during the past decade than at any time since the Industrial Revolution, and things are likely to change even more dramatically as we enter the 21st century. New concepts of people management have come into being that have increased produc- tivity, enriched the workplace, and stimulated creativity and innovation. More and more companies are replacing the traditional hierarchical "boss-subordinate" structure with empowered teams. The key to the success of the team format rests with the former "supervisor"--now "team leader"--who often must change his or her management style to fit the new concept. Change is not easy for most people, and is particularly difficult for managers, who for years made the decisions, gave the orders, and commanded and controlled their staffs. Shifting from supervising a traditional work group to leading a collaborative team is hard work. Team leaders--whether ex- perienced, old-time supervisors, or newly appointed managers--must learn and apply a new set of tools and techniques if their team is to function successfully. This need is met in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Team Building . Dr. Pell has written a delightfully entertaining "how-to" manual that is not only a prime training tool for new team leaders, but also a reference guide for all managers, regardless of their level of proficiency and experience. This is a no-nonsense book, chock-full of pragmatic suggestions on dealing with everyday leader- ship issues. It covers every aspect of building a team--from selecting and training new members to dealing with terminations and downsizings--and all the steps in between. Leaders will learn how to develop critical upward and downward communications with their teams, how to run meaningful and productive meetings, and how to make every team member an active participant in decision-making and implementation. I was particularly impressed by Dr. Pell's insight into motivating team members, coaching and mentoring, and such sensitive issues as maintaining team harmony and resolving conflicts among members. It takes more than a dynamic team leader to make a team successful. Equally important are the team members, who must leave behind any tendency to think of themselves as order-followers, and transform themselves to collaborative, active participants in the team's activities. Throughout the book, team members are counseled on how they can become better collaborators. This will become even more significant as self-directed teams--teams without permanent leaders--proliferate. This is an easy-to-read book augmented by specific examples drawn from Dr. Pell's extensive ex- perience in dealing with organizational development and human resource management. If you're among the many struggling with the demands of doing more with less, and needing to get better results through team building, this book is a must-read. --Franklin C. Ashby, Ph.D.