Monday Morning Leadership is arguably one of the best reads for any individual occupying a leadership position. It is an inspiring book that engenders all the right approaches that an effective leader ought to take in order to improve their performance within the organization and also portray all the right attitudes as well as exuding influence and respect in the course of administering their duties. David Cottrell the author of this book uses exceptional characters to relate to present day hardships that most managers are faced with. The main character in this narration is Jeff who is also the narrator of the experiences happening in the course of the book. Cottrell incorporates a number of actions that ought to be taken by managers who experience challenges at work. Concurrently, Tony, one of the characters in the narration, acts as the motivator who directs Jeff on the right path to follow while managing operations at work. The main aim of this book is to enable any person within an organization`s context to be a better leader, employee or individual.
Cottrell is arguably an influential person who is reputed for writing more than 20 books on leadership, which have managed to influence the lives of numerous individuals; the book Monday Morning Leadership is no exception. The latter piece narrates the challenges that Jeff, a senior manager in a fortune 500 firm is faced with in the course of his leadership tenure. He is on the blink of giving up after observing that he was slowly losing his grip on the mantle of leadership. Each of the steps taken by Cottrell incorporates a personal tone within the text in a bid to reveal the emotions of the characters within the story. This renders the text to be thought-provoking and worthwhile to the reader.
The initial section of the book reveals Jeff`s predicament as he probes his conscience to determine whether he should see Tony for advice on how to handle his situation. When he finally agrees to do so, they schedule Monday appointments for the next 8 weeks after the first meeting (Cottrell, 2002). Tony also insists that Jeff follows three basic rules during their sessions which involve: Revealing the truth, being willing to try a different approach, and starting and finishing on time (Cottrell, 2002). Besides, during this first session, Jeff narrates how difficult work had turned out to be for him. He also recounted how he took out his team for dinner and drinks in order to get them to like him. Tony advises him by saying that a leader is respected for the decisions he makes. Besides as a driver he had to avoid distractions and focus on what is important. Additionally, Jeff is also offered a notebook inscribed "Monday Mornings" (Cottrell, 2002).
When Jeff comes in for the second session, he narrates how things had become more difficult to an extent that even 2 of his best employees had left (Cottrell, 2002). Tony tells him about the importance of getting the workers to focus on the main thing and also equipping them with all the right tools. He also challenged to try and learn why the supposed members chose to leave the team (Cottrell, 2002). Further still, it emerged that by depending on others` perceptions, he was setting himself up for frustration.
The book then leads the reader to the next section, where it is revealed how Jeff begins to utilize some of the lessons learned. For instance, he probes some team members though they initially appeared to be unwilling to talk to the members who had chosen to resign. Finally, he manages to talk to them and learns that they had chosen to leave him and not the Company (Cottrell, 2002). Tony`s advice on this is the essence of eliminating confusion. He further indicates that circumstances force some employees to say only those things that they feel are likely to please the management (Cottrell, 2002). Tony also classifies employees into Superstars who do the very best in their work, the middle stars who may not be as good as the latter or were initially very good as they are but ended up losing motivation and also the fallen stars who tend to do very little(Cottrell, 2002). It appeared that Jeff could have been rewarding fallen stars unknowingly and leaving out the superstars.
The section that follows narrates Jeff`s fourth encounter with Tony. By this time, he was more confident than he was initially since he had realized some of his faults. It was apparent that he no longer recognized the efforts of employees. One main issue that happened to be bothering him was that Todd, a superstar employee was drinking during work sessions and even after sending him a warning letter, he chose to persist (Cottrell, 2002). Tony teaches him that to be a good manager, one ought to focus on long-term goals and in order to accomplish this, the "do-right" principle ought to be reinforced (Cottrell, 2002).
Later afterward, the reader can see Jeff making the right decision by visiting Human Resource to resolve the issue about Todd. It was agreed that the latter had to be dismissed from work and when they invite him in, they explain how he had already done this to himself and that they were just implementing his decision (Cottrell, 2002). When Jeff finally meets Tony for his fifth session, he is told that employees are arguably the most important resource. This is due to the fact that people judge the Company based on their experience with those who serve them.
Later on, when Jeff arrives for his sixth consecutive Monday, he is quite enthusiastic about the progress he had made; although he blames things outside his control for the challenges he was experiencing (Cottrell, 2002). Tony, nevertheless, advises him that a manager should be responsible for how he handles his time since all the workers depend on that. Good time management decisions are effective for the successful transition of all individuals.
When the seventh session arrives it appears that Jeff has made a successful progression in his work. By this time he had already finished overseeing all the interviews and two of the individuals had consented to begin almost immediately. Tony counsels him stating that it is the duty of the manager to ensure that they motivate every worker so that the bucket that each employee has ended up overflowing with motivation (Cottrell, 2002).
During the final sections of this book, the reader can visualize as Jeni who was one of the Company`s superstars consents to return (Cottrell, 2002). This followed after Jeff had implored on her explaining how things had changed. When Jeff appears for his eighth meeting, Tony further insists that even after he had managed to make all the positive changes he should not be complacent with all that but rather focus on attaining higher goals.
Monday Morning Leadership is arguably an interesting resource which encompasses a set of encounters experienced by a manager in one of the world`s leading firms. Regardless, of the fact that not all details regarding management have been provided, it offers valuable lessons on the most effective form of action to take when faced with difficulties in the workplace. This is, therefore, one of the most resourceful books for any person seeking to enhance performance within their organization.
Cottrell, D. (2002). Monday morning leadership: 8 mentoring sessions you can't afford to miss. Cornerstone Leadership Inst.
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