By: Brent Lowe, Susan Basterfield, Travis Marsh
Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe
In Lead Together, co-authors Lowe, Basterfield and Marsh combine their decades of experience working with startups and fast-growth organizations to create a blueprint of how to rethink and reinvent the way we lead our organizations — starting with ourselves. Lead Together takes the reader on a journey to challenge the assumptions we’ve been fed in our post-industrial workplaces. To push aside the notion of “command and control” and embrace a collective approach to building and scaling a business.
Each chapter explores various leadership concepts: accountability, decision-making, trust building. There’s even a chapter of getting the legalese out of legal. The co-authors pack the book with simple, timeless models and real-world scenarios and examples so that the reader can see the concepts in action. Easy to read, in a conversational style, the set-up of the book also allows the reader to jump in and out of chapters and provides a nice “pull together” of the concepts discussed so that you can create your own application. Lots of self-reflection opportunities are presented along the way, which makes this a book that is best to read, reflect on and then action.
The Bottom Line
As an entrepreneur and leader, I find there are many parallels between start-ups and the agility that many of my larger clients are desperately seeking. Although directed at companies scaling towards 200 employees, I would argue that the lessons and approaches in Lead Together are desperately needed by any organization seeking to radically reinvent itself. And certainly, many functional leaders can easily pull the suggestions from this book to create more engaged, self-managed teams.
One of the challenges in world of leadership today is that our “thought leaders” are rooted in a mindset and mentally that’s aligned to the structure and processes of the military model of leadership. Senior executives and external leadership consultants quickly reject concepts like “teal organizations” and “self-managed companies” as being impossible to replicate in larger organizations. Given that I spend most of my time looking at the motivational drivers and then subsequent behaviours of senior leaders, much of the challenge with this push back is rooted in our own desires to maintain the status quo precisely because it reinforces how we like and enjoy working.
I truly believe that we are entering the tipping point to a brand new type of collective leadership. This book is a great primer for the mindset you need to cultivate in order to be successful in the coming new world order. Don’t let the small/start-up company angle of this book fool you. Every forward-thinking leader needs to read this.
Recommendation: A great read for leaders at all levels.