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Building Team Power: How to Unleash the Collaborative Genius of Teams for Increased Engagement, Productivity, and Results
Thomas A. Kayser

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Format: Hardcover, 304pp.
ISBN: 9780071746748
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Pub. Date: 2 edition December 13, 2010

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Building Team Power is a hands-on, how-to book. It is a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-your-hands-dirty book. It is applications oriented all the way. Don't look for complex psychological, sociological or academic group theory models here. You won't find any. Building Team Power extends and expands the reach of my well-received Mining Group Gold book. This one digs into the crucial behaviors you need to understand and practice to be a collaborative leader. It takes you into the "how-tos" for building collaborative partnerships and facilitating teamwork within your own work group, across work groups, or in task forces, committees, problem-solving teams, executive councils, and the like. It is one thing to say, "We need more and better collaboration around here;" it is another thing to do it. This book fills a void because it shows you how to do it in terms you can understand, with skills you can actually put into practice! Skill improvement in building and facilitating collaborative partnerships and teamwork is what this book teaches.

After reading Building Team Power, you will, I hope, pick out a few collaborative leadership actions and get started by saying: "Hey, I can give these a try because I understand what I am supposed to do. Kayser's book taught me something."

THE NEED FOR THIS BOOK. After the publication and favorable reception accorded the three editions of my first book, Mining Group Gold: How to Cash in on the Collaborative Brain Power of a Team for Innovation and Results (NY: McGraw-Hill, 1990, 1995, 2011), and the popularity of the first edition of Building Team Power (Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin, 1994), I knew I was on to something that went beyond casual interest.

My 30 years of experience at Xerox leading and facilitating every possible type of organization effectiveness intervention, my debates with colleagues both inside and outside of Xerox, my interactions with clients as part of my current consulting practice, my discussions with my wife, Carol, who has worked with a number of school districts and industrial firms teaching and applying collaborative principles, along with my review of the business literature, all have validated the same thing time after time.

New and experienced managers alike lack the necessary mental maps, the keen understanding, and the crisp fundamentals for being a collaborative leader building collaborative partnerships within and across teams.

New managers most often do not have this know-how simply because of their managerial inexperience. Many experienced managers, on the other hand, lack collaborative skills and insights because they grew up in the centralized, command-and-control bureaucracy where large merit increases, promotions, bonuses, lavish offices, and other forms of reward and recognition went to those managers who were best at dictating and directing. In those order-giving organizations, nurturing collaboration and teamwork was not a highly valued managerial behavior. Because it was looked upon as being soft and weak, as well as a sure-fire career killer, skill development in building and facilitating collaborative partnerships was squashed.

While this medieval thinking still exists in many places today, you can no longer allow it to predominate and drive your company's culture. If your organization does not understand or believe in utilizing the power of collaboration--or dismisses it as some passing fad--you are riding down the same highway to marketplace failure or irrrelevancy as ___________________(fill in the blank).

Figuring out ways to do things right the first time, every time; creating products and services that delight your customers and distress your competitors; forming and implementing strategies and structures to capture and hold market share; and studying and reconfiguring work processes to slice costs and improve quality are huge tasks requiring the collaborative genius of your entire organization. It is irrelevant whether your establishment is in the public sector or private sector, is a producer of goods or services, or is for profit or is nonprofit--a culture of collaboration up, down, sideways, and diagonally within and across every corner of your organization is mandatory for success in today's global marketplace. You cannot afford to have it any other way.

During his 30 years at Xerox, pioneering numerous organization effectiveness techniques, processes, and methods, plus his current consulting work, Tom Kayser has discovered a major shift in how people work. The old school of rigid "command-and-control" management no longer gets satisfactory marketplace results. To stay productive and competitive in today's fierce global marketplace, the key word is "collaboration".

By studying and isolating what makes teams succeed in the marketplace, Kayser has developed a system of proven leadership team-building techniques that anyone can apply to his or her own group situation. He has broken his findings into three sections that flow and integrate into a true learning experience for the reader.

The Pressure for Collaborative Leadership and Partnerships in Organization
  • The Call for Collaborative Leadership: Whitewater Global Markets and the Need to Transform Organizational Structures
  • The Six Core Elements of Collaborative Partnerships: Six Ingredients for Success
  • An Integrative Framework Linking the Book's Chapters: Your Pathway to Unleashing the Collaborative Genuis of Work Teams
Seven "How to" Collaborative Leaderhip Behaviors for Building Team Power
  • Mutual Trust: The Heart of Collaborative Leadership
  • Decision Making: The Range of Options and the Forces Impacting Your Decision Choice
  • Consensus Building: Facilitating Whole Group Support
  • Conflict Management: Facilitating Seven Steps to Collaborative Conflict Resolution
  • Delegation Effectiveness: Increasing the Capacity of Others to Act
  • Team Problem Solving I: A Systematic, Collaborative Model for All Occassions
  • Team Problem Solving II: Structured Methods for Creating, Displaying, and Analyzing Problem Solving Data
A Collaborative Leader in Action Building a Collaborative Partnership
  • "The Budget Cut": A Case Study Integrating What has Been Learned

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About the Author

Tom Kayser is the President of Kayser Associates, Inc, a Human-Resources consulting firm. He retired from the Xerox Corporation after 30 years of service creating and pioneering numerous organization effectiveness interventions from the executive v.p. level down to first-level managers. He is an expert in organizational behavior and change, group facilitation, team-building design & facilitation, and executive coaching.

Besides authoring the books Building Team Power and Mining Group Gold, he coauthored Changing Organizational Behavior. Tom is a speaker and the author of articles that have appeared in The California Management Review, Michigan Business Review, Community Banker, LeadershipExcellence, and Leader to Leader.

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