One of my favorite business books of 2010 was, hands down, Les McKeown’s Predictable Success.
In it he talks about the phases a business goes through, from start-up and growth through becoming stodgy and old.
I actually keep my copy on my desk so, when I’m having a bad day, I can refer back to it to see if what we’re going through is normal.
It always makes me feel better.
So, when he asked me if I’d review his latest book, The Synergist, I gave a resounding yes.
This is a leadership book, in the truest sense of the word. Even if you’re not a “leader” by definition inside your organization, but you work with others, this book is for you.
The Synergist is the person who is typically unseen and unrecognized, but is crucial in every successful team that is trying to achieve common goals. He believes these people exist in every organization and that you don’t have to learn new skills or become someone you’re not, in order to achieve this level of leadership.
He believes the natural Synergists exist, though they’re rare, so he teaches you how to emulate that style, irrespective of your natural style.
Even an ADD, introvert like me can learn how to lead meetings and conference calls that don’t drone on forever (I hate meetings) and get the most out of people without conflict.
But what I like most about the book is he discusses the three types of people you’re likely to work with: The visionary, the operator, and the processor. These types of people exist at all levels of the organization and learning to work with each personality type is crucial not only to business success, but your own success.
When I worked at Fleishman-Hillard, I had a boss who would say, “You need to learn how to manage up.”
I never understood that. Wasn’t I the one who was supposed to be managed? But she was right. And Les teaches you how to manage each, no matter what level you are in the organization.
Written in the form I’ve come to love from Les, he includes case studies where names have been changed, so it’s almost as if you’re reading a good fiction book where you learn something you can apply to your business, your career, or even your outside-of-work involvement.
And for you social nerds, he has a QR code at the end of each chapter, which you can scan to get more information, case studies, and exercises to work on becoming The Synergist.
The book isn’t released until January 3 so put it on your holiday gift list. It’ll be the gift that keeps on giving and will start your 2012 out right.
Disclosure: I did receive a free and uncorrected advance reader’s edition of the book. He even signed it (though I’m waiting for my actual signed copy). I also had dinner with Les and his wife, Julie, several months ago. But in no way, shape, or form did that influence my review of this book because he hadn’t even started writing it yet. And he didn’t buy my dinner. Or my wine. On the other hand…this books sucks!