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Monday, August 20, 2012


The Secret Of Teams by Mark Miller

The Secret of Teams

What Great Teams Know and Do

By: Mark Miller

Published: October 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
ISBN-10: 1609940938
ISBN-13: 978-1609940935
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

"If you can approach the idea of teams with fresh eyes,you could be on the verge of a tremendous breakthrough", writes vice president, training and development, for Chick-fil-A, Mark Miller, in his inspirational and transformational business fable The Secret of Teams: What Great Teams Know and Do. The author presents the idea unfolding narrative of newly promoted Debbie Brewster, as she sets out on a journey to discover the secret of successful teams, and learns some valuable and often surprising lessons from some unexpected places.

Mark Miller understands the fundamental importance of teams to an organization. With teams forming the foundation of change and development within organizations of all types, the leader who builds effective teams will create a powerful competitive advantage. Not only is a competitive advantage part of the impact of great teams, but even more importantly develops and transforms the individual members. The people will think differently about themselves, their team members, and the entire organization following a positive and effective team experience. Through the cast of characters in the fable, Michael Miller guides the reader toward a deeper and richer understanding of the dynamics and challenges of building successful teams.

Mark Miller (photo left) recognizes that building effective and cohesive teams is not an easy task for any leader. One of the most difficult challenges facing the team oriented leaders lies in changing existing, and often deeply entrenched modes of thinking, by the teams members. While the overall principles of team development and management may be readily understood, discovers protagonist Debbie Brewster, their application in real world settings with real teams, is much more difficult.

Mark Miller, through the narrative of the business parable, introduces three three important elements of team building and development. Those three pillars of successful and effective teams are as follows:

* Selection of the right team members for the task
* Training team members to succeed on a continuous basis
* Developing esprit de corps where members are enthusiastic about the team

For me, the power of the book is how Mark Miller presents complex managerial theory in an easily understood format. The use of the business fable concept provides a readily internalized overview of the three pillars of team success. At the same time, the narrative provides detail into why team building is so difficult, and offers the techniques and ideas for transforming any form, size or purposed team into an effective unit.

For most leaders, understanding the overall team leadership principles is not difficult. Where the real and often daunting problems arise, is in the implementation of these principles at the ground level. Mark Miller, through the lessons learned and actions performed by the characters in the story, demonstrates how to not only follow the three team pillars, but also create and guide effective teams through the entire process to a successful conclusion.

I highly recommend the engaging and wisdom packed book The Secret of Teams: What Great Teams Know and Do by Mark Miller, to any leaders, managers, non-profit executives, public sector leadership, sports team coaches, or anyone involved with the construction and management of teams for any purpose. This book will change the way that you approach the concept of teams and team building, and enhance greatly the results and overall success of the team in achieving their goals.

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