Published by Thomas Nelson on December 7, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Leadership
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Tom Ziglar, CEO of Zig Ziglar Corp, shares ten leadership virtues that are essential for coaching employees through immense change and creating an environment of maximum potential and productivity.
With the world changing so rapidly, many leaders are struggling to find new ways to make a significant and positive impact on their team. The key, says Tom Ziglar, is to consistently bring out the best in everyone by focusing on ten core virtues: kindness, humility, respect, persistence, selflessness, encouragement, positive expectations, self-control, firmness, and hope.
Delivering cutting-edge new research, wisdom gleaned from experience, and poignant insights from his work at Zig Ziglar Corp, Tom Ziglar identifies the communication styles that will keep everyone on the same page, regardless of their working environment. He also emphasizes the importance of closing the "empathy gap" between management and staff in order to create a more connected team that operates to its fullest potential--and how developing each team member's unique dreams, goals, and abilities sets up the company for success.
In 10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive Times, Ziglar shows why "coach leadership," instead of management leadership, is the best way to lead through immense change and challenge. It is essential guidance for leaders who want to coach their teams through inevitable periods of disruption with the goal of helping them thrive at home and at work.
The times, they are a’ changing. The last couple of years has seen global disruption economically and politically as the world navigated a response to a pandemic that threatened our health and livelihood. The world has we knew it changed. And almost immediately we wanted to go back to normal. Never mind that normal was pretty bad for a lot of people. In 10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive Times, Tom Ziglar encourages leaders to embrace the change—even if it means changes leadership style—and begin focusing on the things that make those under you flourish.
It’s quiet a sneaky thing that Ziglar has does because, in truth, these virtues were needed in regular times as well. But when everything is normal, why rock the boat? The pandemic showed us our weak spots and changed our ideas about work and life. The “Great Resignation” shows that we aren’t going back to the old normal—and that’s a good thing—so where do we go from here?
10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive Times suggests that there are (as you might expect) ten different qualities for leaders to cultivate. Notice that these are virtues for the leader to implement on themselves, not to their team—though you’ll see how the effect trickles down. This isn’t a book about how to change your employees, it’s a book about how to change yourself and lead through difficult times in a way that centers the needs and desire of your employees.
Ziglar divides the virtues into three categories:
- Who Do We Need to Be? These virtues are focused on the character qualities of a good leader. Ziglar talks about kindness, selflessness, respect, and humility. This is, in a way, about implementing the fruit of the Spirit in a business context. The focus of business needs to be on caring for its employees and giving them the flexibility and tools they need to flourish.
- How Do We Need to Be? This section focuses on the leader’s posture toward their employees. Ziglar discusses traits like positivity and self-control. This section is about adequately preparing one’s team for success. Most importantly here, Ziglar talks about the need to be a coach leader who comes alongside and empowers the employee toward a mutual goal rather than a domineering leader who sees employees a cog in the machine.
- What Needs to Be Done Now? The final section is about perseverance. These changes in business may be difficult. It’s a matter of undoing aspects of corporate structures that have become entrenched in society. But real change is possible and coach leaders will be the ones to lead the way.
Overall, 10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive Times is readable and pragmatic. Ziglar peppers the book with both client and personal stories and, of course, draws on Zig Ziglar’s longstanding leadership philosophies as well. Also, this is a book published by Thomas Nelson—a Christian publisher—and Ziglar has always been clear about their faith-based background. But this is not a Scripture-filled, faith-driven book of business techniques that will only work if you and all your employees are weekly churchgoers. This book is appropriate for secular workplace settings and, no matter your religion, you’ll find it to be informative and applicable.
There were points where I wished Ziglar would have pushed a little harder or dove a little deeper. The crux of his book is really just to treat employees like humans. Understand their goals for life and career, take their family needs into consideration, help them be successful in their field, treat them as invaluable team members and not disposable products. Many of the stories coming out of the “Great Resignation” have to do with poor or entitled management. This book is the gentle kick in the face to be people-first and become the type of leader that others want to work for.