Weekend Leadership Reading: 9/27/19

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about teams and teamwork.

From Adam Kahane: Why Teams Should Argue

“Strong teams include diverse perspectives, and healthy working relationships and successful outcomes hinge on honest communication. But there are ways to make sure you ‘fight right.'”

From Dylan Walsh: What Climbing Expeditions Tell Us about Teamwork

“A new study mines decades of mountaineering data to measure how groupthink fares against top-down leadership.”

From Adi Gaskell: The Cognitive Diversity That Makes For The Best Teams

“The optimum construction of teams is something that has vexed managers for many years, and whilst many studies have been undertaken to look into matters, it’s perhaps fair to say that no real conclusion has been arrived at. A new study from Carnegie Mellon doesn’t provide this conclusion either, but is no less interesting for that.”

From Jack McGuinness: A Systems View of Leadership Team Effectivenes

“Great leadership teams function as dynamic systems – living, breathing organisms that have characteristics that transcend those of its individual members.”

From the London School of Economics: The potential dark side of teamwork

“Teamwork improves the organisation’s overall performance, but leads to stress and anxiety among employees, writes Chidiebere Ogbonnaya.”

From Jesse Lyn Stoner: The 6 Benchmarks of High Performance Teams

“In 1996, 51% of US employees were reported to be members of team. By 2006, it had increased to 84%. As our world becomes more complex, the need for teams will continue to grow. Understanding the characteristics of effective teams gives you a target to shoot for and better prepares you to support your team’s development. Our research* revealed six Benchmarks of Team Excellence:”

From Diane Coutu: Why Teams Don’t Work

“Over the past couple of decades, a cult has grown up around teams. Even in a society as fiercely independent as America, teams are considered almost sacrosanct. The belief that working in teams makes us more creative and productive is so widespread that when faced with a challenging new task, leaders are quick to assume that teams are the best way to get the job done. Not so fast, says J. Richard Hackman, the Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Harvard University and a leading expert on teams. Hackman has spent a career exploring—and questioning—the wisdom of teams. To learn from his insights, HBR senior editor Diane Coutu interviewed Hackman in his Harvard office.”

Book Suggestions

Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust by Adam Kahane

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer, Philip Franklin, et al.

The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All by Michael Useem

Commercial Real Estate Teams Built to Dominate by Rod Santomassimo

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