Setting the Stage for Great Performances
J. Richard Hackman
336 pages (Harvard Business School Press, 2002)

A leading authority on group and organizational behavior, J. Richard Hackman emphasizes the crucial role a leader must play in assembling a team and enabling it to manage itself. From the simplistic but possibly overlooked observation that in real life, team members must “know who is actually on the team”to his insightful discussion of competent coaching, the author offers strategies for increasing team success. A Harvard psychology professor, Hackman’s research and case studies form the analytical foundation for this compelling book. Drawing on cases ranging from airline crews to orchestras, his accounts propel the reader between insights. A careful discussion of obstacles as well as key imperatives for leaders make this book both practical and hands-on. Rather than dwell on management styles or leadership characteristics such as charisma or style, it outlines what leaders can do to design and support successful teams.