Doug Krug is a business and leadership consultant who has held faculty positions in various government agencies, served as part of the MBA Program at Johns Hopkins University, and worked with several governors’ cabinets, the FBI and the Coast Guard, as well as on numerous corporate executive teams.
In his new book, Krug posits that leadership’s “missing piece” is realizing that effective leading comes more from mindset than from specific knowledge. In initial chapters, he deconstructs old leadership habits that hyperfocus on what’s wrong, discouraging innovation and problem solving by pointing out people’s mistakes and giving orders. Then he shows how to empower a group to arrive at solutions, in part by asking outcome-oriented “how” and “what” questions (”How do we do this a little better today?”; “What do we need to be doing, now and in the future, to better accomplish our objectives?”). Through Socratic-style questioning, a leader unleashes the group’s problem-solving power while building buy-in and accountability.
Anecdotes from business, law enforcement, sports, the military, and even parenting show the principles in action, including examples from the author’s experiences (and his blunders as a new supervisor). He also shows how this approach can make common stumbling blocks–meetings, leadership transitions, and performance appraisals–more effective.
The book is slightly weighty with the acronyms and catch phrases that seem requisites for the category (for example, AMP means “awareness, mindset and presence”; AQ, “Awareness Quotient”; ROF, “return on focus”). There are also some spelling, grammar and word redundancy glitches (“isle” instead of “aisle”; “site” instead of “cite”; “reflect back”; “knew internally”).
But the material gains momentum and clarity as it unfolds, and the author does a skillful job of distilling his ideas into a workable methodology for leaders of many stripes (military, corporate; even coaches and teachers) and articulating a management philosophy that is realistic, humanistic, and results-oriented. A short glossary and annotated resources round out the book.
Also available as an ebook.