Cover Image: Teams Unleashed

Teams Unleashed

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Member Reviews

I loved that this book closlely looks at the dimensions which goes in building a high-performance team and then breaks it down to a model wherewith coaching this model can be replicated again and again. This is one I would consider doing a team book study on.
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This book details the model used by the authors to assess team performance and the coaching strategies to improve.
I personally found it a little 'academic' in the style of writing and not something a leader could pick up and grab some tips to implement. I think the best audience would be coaches or OD professionals who enjoy keeping up to date with different models and methods.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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A great book that really gets to the heart of coaching, at both a team, and an individual level. Well researched, and back up with data, every coach, aspiring, and experienced will learn a lot from this book.
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I like Phillip Sandahl and Alexis Phillips’ book, Teams Unleashed: How to Release the Power and Human Potential of Work Teams, because this book makes for both a great read and a great reference book. If I identified an issue with my team, I could open up this book and find not only a scholarly explanation and examples of my team’s dynamic, but also suggestions on ways to help incorporate methods of improvement with my team. There are often a few different examples to help show how to resolve a team issue. Teams Unleashed is organized making referencing specific topics easy for the reader. The vocabulary and research are strong, but not intimidating. I feel that I could give any team member this book and they would be able to read it with ease: the language is factual and flows well.

I read this book with the idea of using it in our college’s faculty and staff book club, however, after reading the book, I think that Teams Unleashed would make a better reference book on teamwork for coaches and/or team leads, as it is well-researched and well-organized to do so. I feel like this is a great book to buy someone new to team coaching, and this would be a great textbook for a college course involving managing teams. 

Some specifics about each section:

The book had a strong introduction: it was short and to the point of introducing the book and hooking the audience.

Part 1 is the strongest section. It had nice reflection questions and suggestions for team coaches and team leaders at the end of each chapter. I like that Part 1 had specific definitions with clear examples, and how each chapter ended with some conversation starters and suggested team activities because it gives the reader a few ideas of how to approach each topic with his/her team. I think that part 1 should be read by the entire team, not just the team lead in order for the team members to evaluate and assess how they fit into his/her team. The Part 1 introduction was unnecessary, because it is just an explanation of what we’re about to read, and while it’s not long, it doesn’t add anything. 

Chapter 1 was clear and had a great remembrance exercise of what a strong team looks like. It had a helpful sample list of qualities of great teams and a strong list of seven productivity and seven positivity strengths. I like that there were researched examples with these lists, instead of a short, vague explanation that I have seen in other coaching books. The Productivity and Positivity Quad Diagram of figure 1-1 was perfectly explained, and the order in which the quadrants were given was well introduced. It was a great summary of the Four Worlds of team culture with figure 1-2 (p. 15).

Chapter 2 had a great snapshot exercise of team photos from 20 years ago vs teams of today to show how much things have changed (p. 21). The leadership role change of today was a strong lead into the leadership and decision making sections because any team member should be able to read these sections and recognize his/herself and his/her team members in some aspect.

I feel like there should be a 4th ability of willingness to share and admit that one needs help. I find that people have trouble admitting that things got muddled up and aren’t sure about the next step (p. 30). I would like to learn more about how to get a reluctant team member to participate and be part of the team, which I didn’t find in this book. I found that the alignment section (p. 33) was difficult to understand.

Part 2’s sections on Essential Team Coaching Competencies, Team Coaching Skills, and Team Exercises had helpful examples and specific explanations. There was also some sample dialogue to help reiterate the process. 

Chapter 9: The Ability to be Actively Present was a fascinating topic involving the coach’s ability to stay focused and to keep the team from being distracted. I had never considered that self-management is just as important as leading a team through its teamwork.

Part 3 was good information to have, but it fits more into the reference aspect of this book. The gems at the end of the book were helpful. There was an endnotes section, a bibliography, the TCI’s data, and Integrated Assessment Tools, a Team Coaching Toolkit, and an index for quick referencing.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I think it is very smart, and I will use it at my college with my teammates. I recommend it to others interested in team dynamics, specifically in the coaching aspect.
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As a leader of diverse teams I keep on reading and executing the best methods and processes which are suggested by the leaders in their field. In 'Teams Unleashed' by Phillip Sandahl, Alexis Phillips I was more than pleasantly surprised to see the rich plethora of information on building a high performance team. The book closlely looks at the dimensions which goes in building a high performance team and then breaks it down to a model where with coaching this model can be replicated again and again. Make no mistake this is a coaching book but what makes it unique is the step by step process and method which has been outlined along with the pracical use case and real life scenarios encountered by the authors. This is the bible for coaches who work with teams and any executive interested in building a powerful team that consistently delivers should make note of the model explained in this book and set about replicating it in their environment. 
This book is definitely one which I would keep on recommending to my peers and I sincerely hope that they get as much good advice as I have received by reading this book.
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