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Rabu, 25 Januari 2012

Hot Leaders Cool Facilitators by Bart R. Wendell - Book review

Hot Leaders Cool Facilitators

Learning to Lead One Meeting at a Time

By: Bart R. Wendell, Ph.D.

Published: September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback, 164 pages
ISBN-10: 0984194894
ISBN-13: 978-0984194896
Publisher: Networlding Publishing

"You are a leader...and you don't like meetings. You want to like them, but you don't, and your don't know why. This book will fix that", writes master facilitator, business consultant and psychologist Bart R. Wendell, in his very hands on and engaging book Hot Leaders Cool Facilitators: Learning to Lead One Meeting at a Time. The author describes in no uncertain terms why meetings fail to achieve their desired goals, and provides practical advice to guide leaders toward facilitating successful meeting outcomes.

Bart Wendell recognizes that meetings provide a public display of leadership abilities, both good and bad, that can make or destroy a leader's career. The author considers the meeting to be a true test of a leader's skills. As a result, Bart Wendell offers the insightful advice that conducting a successful meeting goes far toward the development of an outstanding leader. Because of the nature of meetings, and why they so often fail to produce positive results, alert leadership is a necessity. People drawn into meetings bring their silos, and not solutions, along with them. Meetings include diverse participants with a wide variety of abilities and agendas.

Bart R. Wendell (photo left) understands that leaders must be able to gauge how a meeting is progressing, and time when to look for a needed breakthrough, in order too achieve a positive outcome that benefits the organization. This skill requires practice and is as much an art as a science. The author points out that leaders very often demonstrate their lack of skills when they want and need to perform their best. What Bart Wendell calls Hot leaders overheat the meeting and cause impulsive and rash responses and decisions. The author describes Cool leaders as too calming resulting in a lack of action or decision making.

To counter these three observations, Bart Wendell proposes a framework built of five leadership principles. Those five principles are as follows:

* Meetings reflect leadership ability. Great leaders run great meetings
* A leader changes through the act of running a meeting, both good and bad
* Good leaders use Hot and Cold effectively to guide the meeting
* Great leaders understand themselves; their own strengths and weaknesses
* A great leader is not afraid of uncomfortable but right decisions

For me, the power of the book is how Bart Wendell combines a deep understanding of the subtle human characteristics of meetings, with a practical guide for developing leadership skills, through running effective meetings. The author considers meetings to be the crucible in which skilled leaders forge their best qualities. For the author, this testing of leadership is both an internal struggle with oneself and one's fears, as it is an external discovery of effective leadership techniques. Bart Wendell devotes an entire chapter to each of the critical aspects of leadership in meetings, underlining both the inner journey to self realization, as well as the skills visible to those attending the meeting.

The idea that meetings, with the need to lead and guide others to a worthwhile result, forms the basis of great leadership is a good one. Understanding the many implications of this important leadership concept alone makes this book a very worthwhile read. The author's experience as a business consultant, meeting leader and facilitator, as well as a psychologist bring a unique and valuable perspective to this book that is rarely found in leadership books.

I highly recommend the insightful and leadership building book Hot Leaders Cool Facilitators: Learning to Lead One Meeting at a Time by Bert R. Wendell, Ph.D., to anyone seeking to become a better leader and to conduct more effective meetings. The author demonstrates how intertwining the concept of great leadership with running great meetings is a powerful connection. This book will change the way that you view both leadership and meeting management.

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