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Unstuck: A tool for Yourself, Your Team, and Your World

by Keith Yamashita, Sandra Spataro
Portfolio, 192 pages, $13.57

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Sometimes individuals or teams find themselves stuck without apparent forward momentum. This book will give you the tools to get your team in gear and moving forward.

Providing specific case studies of businesses that get stuck and mired in their ways then make it out of their ruts gives hope for anyone looking to move things forward and up to the next level. The authors generously sprinkle humor throughout to help readers keep sobering business scenarios in perspective.

Exercises and brainstorming sessions make the text function more like an interactive workshop and with the right approach you will absorb these lessons and lift your team to new heights.

This book functions on individual and group levels. It begins with individual supervisors diagnosing their situations, then applying techniques to teams. The first step Unstuck advocates is recognizing your symptoms. The Seven Emotional Stages of Being Stuck are feeling:

  • Alone
  • Overwhelmed
  • Directionless
  • Battle-torn
  • Worthless
  • Hopeless
  • Exhausted

Next, you identify the specific state your group is in. For instance, are you not welcoming new ideas from within? Have you not articulated a clear vision and direction the team is working toward? Is everyone behind this common goal?

Unstuck offers a creative presentation with practical techniques for moving forward. Depending on your specific state, you choose a matching "Recommended Path" that guides you toward getting out of your rut. One interesting exercise suggests participating as a team to diagnose problem areas and different approaches to addressing them. Diagrams and graphs are engaging and provocative and add to the "think outside the box" approach to problem solving.

Anyone looking for a solo spark or something to light a fire under a team will find Unstuck a great addition to their library. Its atypical approach to business offers a novel take on leadership, problem-solving, and system dynamics. Even those with complex organizational problems will find valuable information and exercises here.

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