Wheelan Book Review Essay

This book places a greater emphasis on the importance of teamwork. Wheelan contributes practical information and relevant stories to help the eader transition from theoretical applications to commonsensical practices. Wheelan’s intended purpose for the book is noted in the first chapter when she states, “The goal of Creating Effective Teams is to translate what we’ve learned about groups and teams into straightforward, user-friendly, practical guidelines for members and leaders” (201 3, p. 4).

She also makes an important distinction between work groups and teams when she argues, “A work group becomes a team when shared goals have been established and effective methods to accomplish those goals are in place” (2013, p. 2). Wheelan discusses four stages of group development that are experienced by every group that meets at regular intervals. During the first three months, groups will navigate through characteristics relative to stage 1 (dependency and inclusion) and stage 2 (counterdependency and fight). Stage 3 (trust and structure) characteristics will emerge in the fourth or fifth month.

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Finally, stage 4 (work/high performance) characteristics may become evident in the sixth or seventh month (2013). The author devotes an entire chapter to each of these stages, which are titled navigating stage 1, surviving stage 2, eorganizing at stage 3, and sustaining high performance. Within these four chapters, she offers real-world scenarios and suggestions on whatyou can do in various situations throughout the stages. When groups are navigating through these transformational stages to become teams, they face many challenges or conflicts.

Conflict is a necessary element for growth in group because it aids in establishing a trusting environment in which members feel free to disagree with one another (2013). In addition to these helpful aids, there are also checklists to gauge team performance, effective members, ffective leaders, and organizational support. One of the most notable aids was contained in chapter 9; where Wheelan distinguished between the three types of power – power over (dominance), power from (resistance to unwanted influence), and power to (empowerment).

Wheelan continues by stating, “Leaders who employ power to, or empowering, strategies facilitate group development since no leader can perform all the functions of leadership alone” (2013, p. 99). Concrete Response Creating Effective Teams is such a fitting book for my current situation. There are times when God allows his people to be placed in situations that seem detrimental, and how soon we forget that whatever He has called to do, He will equip us to carry it out. A month ago, I was informed that I was going to be reassigned to a different department at work. poke with the assistant manager of that department to inquire about my assignment. He informed me that I would be working the input side of the department. The team members on this particular shift, in this particular area of the department, have long been known for having very low morale, substandard erformance, and behavior problems. Prior to the transfer, started brainstorming about how I can pull this group together and improve morale and performance. I honestly felt like it’s always been a leadership problem that has contributed to their situation.

I decided I would bring all five teams together and set the right tone. I spoke with the teams on my second day of the assignment. let the teams know that our standard going forward is to outperform the other shifts. I told them that we were going to perform in a manner to decrease defects and product better quality. I expressed my desire for us to support one another and create a family atmosphere among the teams. I also informed them that I believe in treating everyone fairly regardless of race, permanent employee or contract employee, sex, religious preference, or previous disciplinary status.

Lastly, I expressed to them that “I’m not your group leader because of my position, but I’m your leader because of who am. ” Reflection In chapter 8, Wheelan (2013) stated, “Women and minorities, for example, still tend to be assigned lower status in groups. As a result, they are expected o talk less, and they may be assigned less influential group roles” (p. 74). I may be at odds with this statement because this type of activity is not a practice that I have witnessed the last nine years. There are many females and minorities at key positions at my company.

My department head is a black female, and she is usually going to do ninety percent of the talking in meetings. I think it is a sad state of affairs for the U. S. , if that is one of the constant conditions out of the hundreds of groups she has worked with or observed. Creating Effective Teams is an awesome book with practical guidelines to help work groups grow into teams, but it doesn’t address the scenario Of being assigned to a team whose culture is very comfortable with and places great emphasis on individual performance.

The leader may be inclined to award this competitive behavior by submitting to the person or group that presents the highest level of resistance to conform. This type of group will never become a team unless the philosophical approach of the leader changes. It is very disappointing when this type of competitive mindset is rought into the church. Instead of being co-laborers on a ministry team, they seek individual achievements for group goals so they can receive recognition, credit, and glory that belongs to God of the universe.

Action One of my main goals is to change the morale of my teams at work. I understand it will take an exceedingly, great effort on my part to erase the stains left by past leaders and began rebuilding trust. John Maxwell states, “If you cant influence people, then they will not follow you. And if people won’t follow, you are not a leader” (2007, p. 20). It is apparent, judging by the umbers, that morale has had a direct impact on productivity on my current shift.

The employees have been dissatisfied and stressed about various issues, which has caused their productivity to take a plunge. Happy and satisfied employees mean more gets done in a fruitful, happy work environment. I believe my influence can bring about a positive change in the morale amongst the five teams. have asked all my team leaders to provide me with suggestions for nominees for team member of the month on every first Wednesday of the month. It’s been a very long time since an employee n these teams has been awarded.

I have started talking to individual employees to inquire about their career track. I also plan on spending more time on the production floor having casual conversations with employees and learning everybodys name. My second goal is to positively impact the productivity. This can be affected by improving quality. One of main quality issues from my area is stray seal. Seal is used to cover holes and seams in the car to keep water out and prevent wind noise. The seal is referred to as stray when it’s found in an improper location. Another quality issue is called missed process.

Missed process means sealer was not applied to the car in a certain location or the application wasn’t properly applied. The last of the main quality issues is a sealer void. A sealer void is an opening in the seal path which could potentially allow water inside the car when going through the shower test. I started tracking these defects in late November, and our shift has led the pack with the most defects. As the leader of this area, the only option is to improve. John Maxwell writes, “Victorious leaders possess an nwillingness to accept defeat.

The alternative to winning is totally unacceptable to them” (2007, p. 180). Therefore, my plan is to meticulously and persistently guide my teams’ with clarification of goals, open communication, and feedback on our progress.