The first time I do things I often feel like a kid trying to work a puzzle wearing mittens. There is so much to do in just getting the basics right that the more refined notions really get in the way more than they help. Yet, so often, the skilled person feels the need to communicate more than the beginner can handle because the information matters. And it does matter, just not the first time you are doing something.
This hand little book helps someone who is new at managing AND new to leading a team the basic information they need to be successful. Gary Topchick helps the reader understand the four basic types of teams there are (really three) and what is different about managing a team than being a member. This is important because teams are participatory and leadership tends to follow the expertise needed at the moment, however there is one person who has to keep things together and moving along.
Topchick also advocate semi-annual team building off-site meetings. These are not for catching up on the project, but are to be devoted to activities to build team rapport and trust. He provides some suggested activities suited to that purpose, as well.
A good, basic book that is well suited to the first time manager trying to get a handle on team management.
Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI