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Essential Managers: Managing Teams

Essential Managers: Managing Teams

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If you're in charge of putting together or overseeing a work team, but you can't bring yourself to crack those gazillion-pound guides or weighty workbooks that you've been handed to help you, you'll love this nifty palm-size companion to every aspect of leading the crew. Here, you'll learn not only what makes a good team and how to balance individual skills within a team, but also how to set the whole thing up (from setting goals and establishing trust to creating a self-managed team, or taking on an existing one), improve its efficiency (by facilitating improved communication, running meetings, improving team standards, and getting everyone to deal with problems and think creatively), and ensure team success in the future through measuring team performance and tracking its progress, setting and meeting targets, rewarding good work, and adapting to change. On every snazzy little page, boxed tips, handy checklists, mini case studies, and easy-to-follow flow charts bring the whole team-leadingprocess to life--from inception to long-term operation and planning. Granted, if you're looking for very specific or in-depth guidance, you might find this book too cursory and general in its approach. But, if you're looking for a thumbnail guide to the basics, it'll do just fine.

It's worth mentioning that the book is part of the "Essential Managers" series by reference publisher Dorling-Kindersley--a series comprising 20 itty-bitty books on business and career topics that range from communication, leadership, and decision-making to the management of time, budgets, change, meetings, people, projects, and teams. Combining the talent of the "For Dummies" book series for breaking down a lot of information into bite-sized bits and sidebars withDorling-Kindersley's signature design style of crisp, classy graphics on a gleaming white backdrop, the books don't represent the cutting edge of business thinking or reflect necessarily any unique individual perspective. Instead, it's as if someone had collated the best general thinking on these 20 topics, and rolled them out into 72 brightly designed and easy-to-read pages--studded along the way with boxed tips, color shots of a multiracial cast of "coworkers" animatedly hashing through the workplace issues of the day, and, on the last few pages of each volume, a self-test of one's skills in the topic at hand. Again, they're not for anyone who's looking for more in-depth or focused help on any of the covered subjects, but they're perfect as a quick general-interest reference; and, let's face it, they're so damn cute, and look so smart in a neat little stack or row, that probably you'll want to buy a whole bunch to give as gifts to your entire staff or department. --Timothy Murphy