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A Team of Leaders

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A Team of Leaders

Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results


15 mins. de lectura
10 ideas fundamentales
Audio y Texto

¿De qué se trata?

Instead of building teams with leaders, develop teams of leaders.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Modern corporations require teamwork, which gives rise to outdoor team-building programs, like rock climbing, ropes courses, scavenger hunts, and so on. Unfortunately, when corporate participants return to their offices, most quickly forget such out-of-the-routine team-building lessons. Consultants Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff offer an alternative: the “Five-Stage Team Development Model.” They expertly – though at times cumbersomely – explain the principles behind their “team of leaders” program, how it works and the benefits it provides. Their interesting but complex model – with its multiple steps and layers – rests upon a solid theoretical base (a team of leaders is a clearly desirable goal), but may prove challenging to apply in the real world. getAbstract recommends this ambitious manual – and its clear graphics – to executives, managers, start-ups and HR officers who can mine it for innovative, forward-looking strategies for team building, more efficient work flow, greater worker engagement and increased profits.


No Boss or All Bosses?

The General Electric plant in Durham, North Carolina, produces specialized jet engines. In this unique facility, more than 300 employees work under no immediate supervisors. The only person in the entire facility with designated authority is the plant manager. Teams plan, organize and supervise their own work and manage their own affairs. This includes setting days off for individual employees, dealing with problem workers, and developing system and process improvements. Transparency is a value; everyone knows how much everyone else earns.

The plant has no assembly lines. From start to finish, “teams of leaders” direct everything that goes into building the engines. All workers are responsible for all elements of quality production. Each day, employees with multiple skills handle different jobs. This method challenges employees, and it also keeps them interested and engaged. Employees don’t punch a time clock. They set their own hours and take off whatever time they need to tend to personal affairs.

The plant’s employees are proud of the work they do together. Throughout the industry, everyone respects this plant as well as the way it ...

About the Authors

Paul Gustavson is an author, board member, adviser, speaker and organizational design consultant. Stewart Liff, a classically trained artist, worked for the US government for 32 years.

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