What makes a good business leader and a successful business? To author Eric Turbiville, it begins with people. The best businesses, says Turbiville, put employees first. A business that takes care of its employees takes care of its customers.
The best business leaders, writes Turbiville, a credentialed executive coach and former Fortune 500 executive, concentrate on three capabilities: They are people-focused, coaching-centered and performance-driven. This “leadership triad,” as he calls it, creates a culture that produces consistent business results.
For Turbiville, people-focused leadership means that managers take a genuine interest in employees: their values, goals and development. These managers also coach employees to achieve their goals and make coaching a facet of company culture.
Good leaders, Turbiville says, measure performance and hold people accountable. They engage in hiring strategies that attract and retain the best talent, and they demand accountability and transparency of themselves. Turbiville stresses the value of trust between all levels of the organization. Such a culture embraces failures as learning opportunities.
The author is at his best when he is asking questions. Each chapter ends with several questions for readers to ask themselves or others. For example, Turbiville counsels leaders to ask employees how they like to be coached. Even with a commitment to coaching, a style that isn‘t sympathetic to employees’ needs won’t produce value.
Although Turbiville introduces numerous anecdotes and company examples, his prose is repetitious. Some sentences are tautologies, or truisms: for example, “Teams that cooperate and share ideas and successes work well together.” If teams are cooperating, sharing and succeeding, it’s evident that they’re working well together. Rather than present arguments, the chapters begin to read like a set of maxims around a particular topic.
Yet the book offers useful advice for managers and leaders, particularly inexperienced ones, and is even better at pointing them to the right questions. Managers looking to improve their people skills and leadership abilities could benefit from Turbiville’s treatment.
Also available as an ebook.