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Getting It Done: How to Lead When You're Not in Charge Hardcover – Jul 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Trade Sales Dept; 1 edition (July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887308422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887308420
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 717 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #578,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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Does it seem that good ideas go nowhere at your company? That meetings are often a waste of time? That nobody seems to be in charge? Roger Fisher (the coauthor of the bestselling book Getting to Yes) and Alan Sharp tackle, in their book Getting It Done, the inertia that afflicts many groups. The authors advance the idea of lateral leadership as a means of breaking apart the logjams that inhibit effective collaboration in organizations. Lateral leadership consists of five elements: clarifying the purpose of what you're trying to accomplish; understanding how to harness the power of organized thought; learning how to integrate thinking with doing; getting yourself and your team engaged; and, finally, learning how to give feedback on what's been accomplished. This is a practical guide to solving common workplace woes that will relieve the frustrations that many of us experience everyday and at the same time help us to stand out as leaders.


"Profound lessons made simple by one of the world's great teachers." -- -- Ronald A. Heifetz, author of Leadership Without Easy Answers

"This book is must reading for those seeking to maximize their contribution to the constructive work of the world." -- -- Charles T. Munger, vice chairman, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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Whoever you are, business executive, union member, staff support, consultant, or government official, you cannot accomplish all your goals by yourself. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a book about a collaboration technique that is packaged as a book about leadership. Although good leaders collaborate, I felt cheated by what this book turned out to cover. Although the book presents sound principles and correctly advises readers to apply these principles personally before using them in groups, I felt that these principles were obvious, low-level stuff. I wanted something more advanced.
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Format: Hardcover
When searching online for a book on leadership, this book's title,"Getting It Done. How to Lead When You're Not in Charge", immediately grabbed my attention. It seemed perfect for what I needed a little help on. I am sure I am not alone. Everyone at one point in their life is forced into a group situation, whether it is in school, work or everyday life, where they are assigned a problem in which the group needs to accomplish together. However, before a group can solve the problem assigned, it needs to conquer the problems within the group. One of the problems that I have found to exist within every group I have been in is how to reach solutions and successfully work with others when no one knows exactly who is in charge. Everyone needs to individually take on responsibility and contribute, but it works best when you know exactly what you should focus on and the right questions to ask your group members to obtain the best results. This book does an excellent job in first of all, mapping out the problems that groups face and then going into detail by explaining the route group members should take to maximize success. Fisher and Sharp have five basic elements that groups can follow to get things done. By following these five easy steps it will give you a clear focus of how to put it all together and create a successful way to complete the tasks assigned within your group. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a little extra help to maximize their group's potential. It is very easy to read and the information and suggestions that the authors provide will be remembered and used every time I am placed in a group situation again.
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Format: Hardcover
Whenever I meet with bright, motivated business people who want to improve the world, they always complain about others in their organizations who will not cooperate in a change process. Get those reluctant people on board the progress train, and the more positive future will soon arrive. Almost never do these complainers realize that their own habits, perspective, and behavior are contributing to delaying the progress by making others oppose the initiative.
Getting It Done is a wonderful book for helping each of us see ourselves as part of the problem and part of the solution in situations when many people must cooperate. That's a first in my experience.
The book builds on that valuable perspective by suggesting what skills we each need to improve, and how we can implement a process that will lead to genuine, effective progress. That is very critical, because most improvements occur because someone has designed an effective process to ease their implementation. In new areas, by definition, there is seldom such a process. My suggestion is that you try this one if you have no other.
I also liked the way the authors went on to generalize about how lateral leadership (influencing peers) provides lessons for when you are the boss. The same lessons apply here as well. Influencing people through genuine involvement leads to both better solutions and to better implementation.
If you only read and learn to apply one book this year, Getting It Done should be that book. My reasoning is simple. If you cannot help those you work with to make successful collaborations, you and everyone around you will always operate at a low level of effectiveness. Also, your work day will be filled with stress, conflict, pressure, too much to do, and worry.
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Format: Paperback
This book gave me more than I spected whenI bought it.
I was looking for some guidelines on good teamwork behavior, and I didn't got just that but far more usefull insight on plain work.
Reagarding working with others, the best part is the Feedbck chapter. You'll never give advice to a team mate in the same way after you had read this book. Everybody know someone that "takes advice the wron way", well you'll learn that maybe you and everybo else are giving advice in the wrong way.
Besides this particulary well covered subject, the author explains very usefull techniques to improove not only group workin but personal efficiency. All of this is ilustrated with down to earth examples and exercises.
I read the first edition almost one year ago, and I keep going back to it as if it was reference book, and in some way it is
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Format: Paperback
Somebody told me once: "Never talk about a problem without giving a solution". After reading this book, I think it should be: "without inviting others to improve a solution you have drafted".
The ideas presented in this book do a great deal to improve communication and gain support. I have reread some of my old memos, and now understand why people did not like them, even if they clearly explained the situation and proposed a solution. I used not to invite people to think with me.
I have applied many of the topics to my every day life, specially at work, and it's given results. I mostly try to invite others to participate in the process, and remember that all ideas can be improved.
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