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The Performance Factor:
Unlocking the Secrets of Teamwork

by Pat MacMillan
Broadman & Holman Publishers, 336 pages.

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>Team leaders who are looking for help from outside sources will appreciate The Performance Factor. Its value comes from examining business success stories to distill team performance into one proven truth—long-term success comes from an ability to see change and to respond effectively to it. MacMillan discusses motivation, the role of personal lives in the team dynamic, and uses extensive graphs and other resources to illuminate his points.

The Performance Factor uses real world examples of groups and depicts the day-to-day challenges groups face and overcome. Whether you are leading smaller project teams or larger groups, there are goals to be met and performance objectives. MacMillan asserts that when performance levels are at their peak, the results will come, and he focuses on ways to achieve consistently high performances.

Threading the story of United Flight 232 throughout the book, Macmillan illustrates points to give a real-life edge to the book’s lessons. When engines failed and there was no protocol to respond to an unrehearsed situation, the crew had to depend on each other and controllers to adapt to the unforeseen. This points back to the theme of exceptional teams being able to spot change and respond effectively to it.

Each chapter ends with a message to team leaders and these nuggets of wisdom help leaders become self-aware about their roles and responsibilities to their teams. Macmillan stresses team purpose, a critical aspect of keeping members informed and aware of their evolving roles in a collective effort. Macmillan’s high performance team model is practical and easy-to-understand. He doesn’t only write about team-building, but shows you how to go about doing it.

The book concludes that excellent team communication does not happen naturally, but hinges on the leader’s assertiveness and ability to motivate. Willingness, skill level and hard work all combine to produce the end product of an exceptional team. Team leaders who seek to provide a climate for team members to communicate openly and cooperatively will welcome The Performance Factor’s secrets and extensive wisdom.

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