ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

March 1999

Facing The Music In The Global Marketplace

Military Intelligence - Not An Oxymoron

Starting A Revolution Where Everyone Wins

The New Leadership Class

Let's Give Them Something To Talk About

by Peter Block
Sorry We're Closed: Diary of A Shutdown

Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Sites Unseen

The Quality Tool I Never Use

Book Review

Book Reviews With a Twist

“The Facilitative Leader:Behaviors That Enable Success” by R. Glenn Ray

"It is one thing to understand the theories and constructs of leadership, as well as that understanding is necessary. It is more important to be able to demonstrate the behaviors of successful leaders and enable others to develop these skills."

Glenn Ray earned an extra star in this review for three reasons. First, he presents a strong case for focusing on behaviors not slogans or rhetoric when it comes to developing leadership. Second, he did not use that damn "empowerment" word. He instead features the word "enable" throughout his book. That earned big points with this reviewer. Finally, he keeps the whole discussion of leadership light through the effective use of humor and personal experience. He really does put a welcoming face on facilitative leadership.

Facilitate This! The word facilitator means to "make easy." To put your workgroups on Easy Street, Ray recommends focusing on developing these skill sets vertically and horizontally throughout your organizations:Relationship Building, Coaching. Learning, Problem Solving, Action Planning and Implementation tracking

OK, All You Leader "Wannabe's" Repeat After Me! "Relationships define reality in organizations"

The Vertical Turtle and Other Stories: You may find yourself looking at the cover of this book from time to time to make sure you didn't pick up your kid's Uncle Remus or Dr. Seuss by mistake. Ray follows a long line of Southern storytellers with his list of characters like the Vertical Turtle, the Pig in the Truck, the Peg-legged Pig and others. He employs these to drive home his lessons for leaders and just when you think you've recovered from that final belly-laugh, he slips in the zinger that leaves you thinking..."Is he talking' bout ME?!!!"

Take a Memo: To the author: I would recommend you get a new marketing agent for your book. If the publisher is peddling it as a college text, you are missing your real niche. This would make an excellent resource to build a corporate leadership orientation program around - especially at the new supervisor level. It would also make a great gift, gesture of appreciation or recognition item for team members moving into leadership positions. It is clear, concise and "user-friendly" without being insulting to one's intelligence.

Take Another Memo: To potential readers: follow the author's advice and read this book with an eye towards "creating a personal development plan with specific organizational goals." Take the time to reflect upon the questions and commit to doing at least one of the actions at the end of each chapter. You, your workgroups and your organizations will be glad you did!

One To G-R-O-W On: "Leadership is an interaction between two or more members of a group that involves a structuring or restructuring of the situation and the perceptions and expectations of the members. As people come together in an organization to accomplish goals they hold in common, communication skills are keys to the success a leader will have with these interpersonal interactions."

"The Facilitative Leader: Behaviors That Enable Success," R. Glenn Ray, 1999, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J., ISBN 0-13-895228-0, 173 pages, price: N/A
Reviewed by: CWO4 Jerry Linnins, Chief - Performance Improvement Schools, U.S. Coast Guard Training Center, Petaluma, Calif.
March '99 News for a Change | Email Editor
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