Connected Leadership: Engage Your Workforce to Lead Themselves
Connected Leadership: Engage Your Workforce to Lead Themselves is a manager’s guide to engaging a team that collaborates effectively and emphasizes shared leadership. It is full of tools, ideas, and advice that can help anyone understand what it means to build a successful team. It also challenges many traditional management concepts by breaking down psychological barriers and showing how managers can best serve their employees by helping them solve problems. Connected Leadership is a valuable resource with actionable steps to enhance workplace collaboration.
The book is organized into several parts, focusing on team creation, goal setting, and how to pay attention. Each chapter had valuable insights that weren’t age-old pieces of advice. For example: don’t select only all-stars for the team. One should think about how people’s personalities mesh or what attributes are needed for projects. This enhances collaboration and discourages internal competition, which can stifle an organization’s success.
Connected Leadership is a well-written, approachable and inspirational guide to leadership. The author, Francis Eberle, has a great deal of leadership experience, including roles as an executive, teacher, nonprofit leader, and membership on boards of directors, that add credibility to his advice. This book reads like a “how to be a good manager” – though Eberle points out that leadership does not need to come from managers. Rather, it can and should be found in collaboration amongst teams. The book serves as a helpful guide for how to approach conversations with staff, and even how to run a productive meeting. It challenges concepts that many may have learned in traditional management training, or through observing other managers, by providing sound reasoning on why Eberle’s approach is superior.
Eberle spends time discussing people’s motivations, and how to uncover them. Extrinsic motivators such as money and recognition are not always the most valued by employees. In fact, contributing to a common goal and working as a team can be larger motivators for many. Connected Leadership focuses a lot on understanding people and paying attention, rather than establishing dominance or authority. The concept of shared authority is introduced, and Eberle’s examples and data bring this concept to life.
Overall, this book covers a lot of simple concepts that we should focus on, but often don’t when facilitating teams. Tactically, this book is a great resource as it contains flow diagrams, worksheets, thought exercises, and specific questions to consider to aid in the collaborative leadership journey. In addition, it references a lot of great books, podcasts, other media that I took note of to learn more. Eberle’s approach to leadership really sparked my interest. I highly recommend this book for managers and employees alike, as it has terrific suggestions on how to build strong teams.
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