If your leadership team is typical, you get stuck more often than you’d like. Ineffective problem solving, entrenched positions, inability to resolve conflicts, strained relationships and lack of trust slow you down and get in the way of what you need to achieve.
Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams offers a solution: Mutual Learning.
In his new book, Roger Schwarz addresses a critical question for many organizations: Why does a group of smart leaders so often create a less-than-smart team?
For over 30 years, Roger has studied leaders who faced challenges in which they were not as effective as they wanted to be. Almost all leaders fall into the same unproductive traps. The problem stems from their mindsets: beliefs about how leaders are supposed to act. The beliefs are so deeply ingrained that they cause smart leaders to get stuck without understanding why or knowing how to resolve the situation.
Unilateral Control: the mindset that gets leadership teams stuck
Roger calls this mindset – in which a leader attempts to make others do what the leader wants them to do – unilateral control. Leaders think they’re acting in the best interests of their organization. Yet unilateral control consistently generates sub-par results.
The problem of unilateral control is especially vexing because most leaders are not consciously aware that they’re using it. And while unilateral control behaviors are sometimes blatant, often they’re subtle.
In Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams Roger shows open-minded leaders what unilateral control really looks like so they can more clearly see what is going on in their teams – and decide how they’d like to move forward.
Mutual Learning: the mindset that gets leadership teams unstuck
Roger’s solution is Mutual Learning, a comprehensive approach that enables leadership teams to get to the heart of their toughest challenges. Through Mutual Learning, the team works together to shift its values, assumptions and behaviors so that leadership is invested in the full team. In this way, Mutual Learning builds on the strengths, talents and knowledge of the entire team.
Mutual Learning is based on five core values that are common sense, but not common practice. These values fundamentally change the way the team thinks and acts and the results they get. The values are:
- Informed Choice
Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams shows you how to apply the principles of Mutual Learning to address your toughest challenges. When you apply the principles over time, you and your team will get stuck far less often, achieve higher levels of performance, have better working relationships and enjoy greater well-being
Roger Schwarz has been a recognized thought leader in the realm of team leadership for three decades. An organizational psychologist and President and CEO of Roger Schwarz & Associates, he is a sought-after advisor to global companies, federal government agencies and international non-profit organizations.
Clients include American Airlines, American Red Cross, the World Bank, TransCanada, Chevron and the US Department of the Interior. He is author of the seminal work The Skilled Facilitator and co-author of The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook. Prior to founding Roger Schwarz & Associates, he served as a professor of Public Management and Government and as Assistant Director at the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Education degree from Harvard University. Schwarz lives in Chapel Hill with his wife. They have two children.
Praise for Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams
“Roger Schwarz has hit the nail on the head. To bring positive long-term change and achieve the results you and your team are capable of, you can’t just change how you act; you need to fundamentally change how you think about your team. Practical. Insightful. Outstanding.”
Million selling author of MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
“Roger Schwarz argues that leaders must first change themselves — to change their teams and transform results. He clearly explains how a default approach used by many leaders leads them and their teams to get stuck. He also provides a winning alternative – a set of values and beliefs that leaders can adopt to build commitment, make better decisions, and obtain better results.”
Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School;
author, Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and compete in the Knowledge Economy
“A powerful compendium of practical wisdom that artfully gets at the ‘What’ and the ‘Why’ of superior team leadership and performance. A very worthy read.”
Douglas R. Conant,
former President, CEO, and Director, Campbell Soup Company;
New York Times best-selling Author,
TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in The Smallest of Moments
“In Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams, Roger has done for leadership teams what The Skilled Facilitator did for facilitators–provides a practical and powerful framework for getting to the heart of tough challenges, getting unstuck and getting the results they need. This book should become required reading for all leadership teams”
Thomas P. Zgambo, Ph.D.,
Ombudsman, The World Bank Group;
former President, The Ombudsman Association (now International Ombudsman Association)
“This book reveals how leaders’ mindsets and actions get in the way of success, and what to do about it. Roger Schwarz, a renowned leadership expert, offers a wealth of pioneering, practical insights for leading teams more effectively. The payoff is a new approach to making teams more—rather than less—than the sum of their parts.”
Professor, The Wharton School;
Author, Give and Take
“Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams is a transformational approach to team leadership – it shows how to eliminate the hub and spoke effect of ‘one leader, multiple reports’ and creates a self- managing team that makes decisions, takes action and gets results. I highly recommend this book and this approach.”
Moog Space and Defense Group
“There is no voice I would trust more than Roger Schwarz’ on the subject of getting the best from your leadership team. Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams makes it abundantly clear that when leaders foster an environment of transparency and trust, they set the stage for success now and for the next time. This book is for any leadership team striving to up their game and consistently get better results.”
“All too often teams fall short of their potential. With Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams, Roger Schwarz–whose brilliant ideas are central to my courses on leading effective teams at the Wharton School–shows leaders that by changing their mindset they can create powerful team performance, productive working relationships, and positive individual well-being, so that each builds on the other and creates an enduring cycle of success and satisfaction.”
Practice Professor of Management,
The Wharton School
“Finally a book has come along that offers practical wisdom about how leaders can develop great teams. It offers insight not only in to ‘how’ but also ‘why’ teams don’t function as their leaders desire. This is a roadmap for transition for any senior manager who is looking to improve the operating system of their own leadership style.”
Managing Director, Global Head of Marketing – Securities and Fund Services,
“I love the fresh thinking of Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams – it asks you as a leader to really look in the mirror and see how you might be contributing to your own leadership struggles. As with all things that work, it doesn’t offer quick fix solutions but when the team leader walks the talk, you can expect the results, for you, your team, and your organization, to be long lasting and far-reaching. An enriching read.”
Director of Investments and Business Development,
“Being a great leader does not mean having to be the smartest person in the room. In Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams, Roger Schwarz shows that leaders do best when they are the most curious people in the room- that when leaders ask genuine questions and listen, they inspire the team to contribute more candidly and creatively to the issues at hand. By putting this book to use, you will be a better leader, your team more engaged, and your team’s solutions consistently better”
“Roger Schwarz has given leaders and their teams access to a framework and ways of working everyday that will enhance collaboration, innovation, and deliver better results. An invaluable read for any leader striving to move their team and business forward.”
Mary Beth Robles,
Vice President, Innovation Capabilities & Knowledge Systems, Global Technology,
Colgate Palmolive Company