Share this Page URL

Introduction - Pg. xvi

xvi Introduction The trend toward team development in organizations in every industry and in most developed coun- tries has proliferated over the past decade. Research at the Center for the Study of Work Teams at the University of North Texas indicates that as we enter the twenty-first century, 80 percent of For- tune 500 companies will have half their employees on teams. Many of the people who lead these teams will have previously been supervisors of traditional work groups. To succeed in their new roles as team leaders, they will have to rethink their concepts of leadership and often make major changes in their behavior. Other team leaders will be promoted from the ranks with the opportunity to start their new careers without carrying the baggage of obsolete leadership techniques. Although some organizations provide special training in team leadership to all team leaders, in most cases the burden of learning how to lead a team is left primarily to the team leader. How to Use This Book Reading a book like this one can be interesting, enlightening, and amusing. I hope that this book will be all these things to you. More important, it should provide you with ideas you can use on the job. You'll find lots of these ideas in the following pages. But it will all be a waste of your money, time, and energy if you don't take what you read and put it into effect in the way you perform your day-to-day managerial functions. Following these five steps should ensure that this book isn't just a reading exercise but also a plan of action for you: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. After you read each chapter, create an action plan to implement what you've learned. Indicate what action you will take, with whom you will take the action, and when you will begin. Share your plan of action with your associates. Get them involved. Set a follow-up date to check whether you did what you planned to do. If not, reread the chapter, rethink what you did or didn't do, and make a new plan of action. Review what you have done periodically. Renew your commitment. This book will provide current and potential team leaders with the tools and techniques of successful team leadership. Here's a quick overview of what you will learn: Part 1: Teams: Gimmicks, Fads, or the Real Stuff? This part explores the entire concept of team development. It provides team leaders with a chance to rethink their leadership styles, and it shows team members how teams can make their jobs more rewarding. It also warns the reader about some of the barriers to team success and what to do to overcome them. Part 2: Molding a Group Into a Working Team