Some business books are obvious, trite and unexceptional. You can learn more reading a soup can label. On first blush, Mark Murphy’s book might seem just that ordinary, with its cover’s exhortations to “challenge your employees to give it their all, and they’ll give you even more.” Warning: Do not roll your eyes. Murphy is a leadership expert and his thoroughly researched book is actually brimming with discernment and acute analysis. Using imaginative language that will hold your attention, he presents a multistep program for turning average achievers into exceptional performers, or, in his words, “Hundred Percenters.” getAbstract recommends Murphy’s solid counsel. Read his book if you supervise people and want to motivate their best performance every day.
Should Leaders Inspire Fear or Love?
According to surveys of more than a half million working people and their leaders, 72% of employees acknowledge that they do not give 100% to their jobs. Day after day, they just get by. And 77% of the leaders surveyed know their employees aren’t making a real effort. Clearly, “Hundred Percenters,” that is, dedicated, diligent workers, are hard to find and nurture. To reach their potential, they need “100% Leaders” who connect with them and challenge them to be great.
Based on 360-degree assessments of approximately 17,000 managers and executives, ineffective leaders tend to be “avoiders,” “intimidators” or “appeasers.” Avoiders never connect with employees or challenge them to beat their limits. Intimidators challenge their employees but don’t connect with them personally. Appeasers have no trouble connecting with employees, but they seldom challenge them. Hundred-percent leaders both challenge their employees and connect with them. Thus, the old question about whether good leaders are the ones their employees love or the ones employees fear is off the mark. Real leadership does not come from coddling employees or relentlessly ...
Mark Murphy is founder and CEO of Leadership IQ, a consulting and training firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Fortune, BusinessWeek, Forbes and the Washington Post have written about his work.