A Team of Leaders Summary By Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff

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A Team of Leaders is a book that outlines a powerful solution to the common internal problems faced by businesses, such as lost productivity, high turnover and low employee commitment.

The authors provide practical methods and tools to help guide companies toward an engaged and high-performance work environment.

These include the five-stage team development model, providing readers with a comprehensive guide to building and maintaining successful teams.

Additionally, the book delves into topics such as creating clarity within teams, holding members accountable for their performance and enabling collective learning and growth.

With A Team of Leaders you're sure to develop both the skills and attitude necessary for getting the best out of your teams.

A Team of Leaders

Book Name: A Team of Leaders (Empowering Every Member to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results)

Author(s): Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff

Rating: 3.5/5

Reading Time: 10 Minutes

Categories: Management & Leadership

Author Bio

Paul Gustavson is a renowned organization design consultant and the founder of Organization Planning & Design – a company that’s focused on forming high-performance teams all around the world.

He has helped many companies tackle their business challenges through his tailored services and provided guidance to help them reach their goals.

In addition, Paul held the role as co-author of two highly acclaimed books - The Power of Living by Design and Running into the Wind, recipient of Reader's Choice Award in 2015.

With extensive knowledge and experience in leadership development, Paul Gustavson is undoubtedly one of today’s influential minds when it comes to team organization principles.

How to Develop Leaders in Your Workplace and Inspire Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking

If you want to succeed in business and make your team a powerful force, you need to make them a team of leaders.

This means instilling in them more than just the bare minimum due from their bosses but instead encouraging them to take responsibility for their own actions, inspiring them with new ideas and approaches, and teaching them new methods of being productive.

To promote this kind of self-sufficiency among your employees, there are some easy steps that you can take.

For starters, give everyone on your team the chance to learn something new – whether it’s taking a course or attending seminars – so that they have the knowledge to tackle different problems and carry out solutions without relying on others too heavily.

Secondly, redesign your office space so as to keep it dynamic and increase efficiency.

Lastly, show how every single member of the workplace can work together towards a common good so that none feel left in the dark when it comes to being part of something bigger.

With these steps taken into account and incorporated into your leadership philosophy, you will soon begin to see results within no time as everyone feels motivated and inspired by what is achieved within their collective effort as well as individually.

Moving From Top-Down to Shared Leadership: A 5-Stage Guide

Organizations can accomplish shared leadership in five stages.

Starting with stage one, which is the hierarchical model we’re used to – with one leader and a team of subordinates following orders.

Then comes stage two, when an organization starts striving to develop a team of leaders.

This means no longer relying on one executive to make all work-related decisions but rather having everyone with an equal voice and say.

In stage three, new leaders emerge and are empowered to create and take responsibility for their own teams – perhaps by recruiting new members.

In stage four, more team members start taking on leadership roles, like approaching HR themselves without waiting for an assignment from management and learning the processes to select candidates for open positions.

Finally in stage five, the idea of completely shared leadership is realized and each employee feels more engaged as each team can now manage itself.

Design Is the Key to Uniting People, Empowering Teams, and Enhancing Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction

Designing your team to give each leader a purpose is key to having an effective team that can easily find success.

That’s why it’s important to think about the questions surrounding how many members should be on the team, how interviews are conducted, and what the company mission is upfront.

Fundamentally, these are all design questions!

The goal behind all of this is to unite everyone under one shared sense of purpose.

This creates a sense of meaning for each individual that gives them more energy and more fulfillment in their work.

If everyone knows their role and has a reason to believe in what they are doing, then they will feel connected and driven towards making improvements.

To further enhance team performance, consider implementing a value-creation model where each leader takes on the role of mini-business boss.

With access to financial data such as balance sheets, leaders can track progress and better engage their employees with it– which ultimately leads to improved customer satisfaction.

Design your team right, and you’ll see great things happen!

Creating Alignment Helps Teams Achieve Shared Success

Creating alignment among team members is critical for boosting performance and achieving success as a whole.

When each leader’s incentives are aligned, they can all work toward the same goal of shared success.

Let’s look at an example of how this works.

Imagine an organization that wants to focus on improving the quality of its products, but very little attention is directed towards this goal, and instead the focus is on maximizing productivity.

It would be easy for employees to become disillusioned in this situation if bonuses were given out to teams that had achieved their productivity goals without caring about quality.

In order to avoid this scenario, alignment must be structured – from elements such as guiding principles and strategies for improvement, specific projects or technologies needed for optimization, and rewards designed to motivate higher-quality work.

This means everyone has a common purpose in striving towards better results through shared success – not just one ‘type’ of employee winning or exceeding expectations solely based on their individual efforts.

The Power of Organizational Knowledge: How Knowledge Sharing Among Teams Can Improve Your Company’s Performance

Giving your team access to all the knowledge they need is essential for an organization to run smoothly.

From key knowledge needed to create value for the customers, to codifiable facts and routines as well as tacit knowledge such as beliefs and expertise – all should be equally accessible to each team member.

Accessing this knowledge in a structured way is possible through manuals, customer research and videos, while unstructured methods like sharing experiences help teams gain tacit knowledge together.

This can be done through storytelling, role-playing or personnel rotation.

By equipping your team with all the necessary knowledge, you make sure that everyone has access to what’s needed in order for them to know how best to handle any given situation.

Furthermore, it helps build trust amongst members of the team, so that when somebody does go on leave or is out of action for whatever reason, they know they have a support system they can rely on.

Visual Management: Unleashing the Power of Spaces to Foster Creativity and Leadership


Your leaders need a working space that supports them.

Creating a working space that fosters a team of leaders requires something more than interior decorating.

That’s why visual management is such an important part of successful leadership.

The key to success is to create an open-yet-closely-knit layout that best supports the exchange of ideas and inspirations between members of your team.

This workspace should also have charts, whiteboards, and other displays to illustrate the progress of individual projects and reinforce the mission of your company.

Additionally, displaying customer feedback with hand-written signs throughout your office will make customers feel welcomed and respected.

This creates an environment that honors both the company’s mission and its customers, making it easier for your team of leaders to be truly effective!

Wrap Up

If you want to build a team of leaders, then the five essential steps outlined in the book ‘The Team of Leaders’ are key.

These steps are: savvy team design, knowledge sharing, visual management, fostering a shared purpose and keeping motivation high.

The final summary of this book is that having a motivated team with a unified sense of purpose will ensure it can reach its full potential.

To make sure that your team remains energized and on track, it’s important to always remember why you do what you do.

Your tasks may not seem important right now but they matter in the bigger overall objectives which is something to focus on when morale drops.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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