Redesigning Leadership (Simplicity | John Maeda

Summary of: Redesigning Leadership (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)
By: John Maeda


Embark on a journey to explore the innovative and insightful perspective on leadership with John Maeda’s ‘Redesigning Leadership’. This book summary will outline the key themes of effective communication, personal management style, and the importance of living by one’s principles. As you navigate through the crucial dynamics of leadership, you’ll find practical tips and suggestions on how to cultivate a strong team and enhance productivity by fostering healthy connections with your team members. Discover how personal touches in your communication can make a significant impact, and learn the value of admitting your mistakes to maintain respect.

Manage by Walking Around

Leaders need to form strong connections with their team members. To truly understand your business, you need to manage by walking around. Take a cue from the president of Rhode Island School of Design and interact with the people around you. This style of personal management is not about taking over other people’s jobs, however. Leaders need to lead, and to achieve this, managers need to find the balance between working with their employees and giving them their space.

Communicating with Teams Effectively

Leaders have various ways of communicating with their teams remotely, such as email and Skype. However, ensuring that team members understand the messages being communicated can be challenging. The most effective way to communicate a message is by using examples to back up points, as facts are more easily understood when presented with an example that makes the information real. To illustrate this, a leader can point out the impact of an employee not taking responsibility for their actions and how it affects the rest of the team. While it’s always best to communicate face to face, it’s not always possible. In such cases, giving virtual messages a human touch helps to bridge the gap. Adding a personal touch, like attaching a scan of a handwritten note, can help messages stand out and elicit more responses.

Building an Effective Team

As a team leader with a new product to launch, the first step to creating a cohesive team is to bring them together in a meeting. This helps to establish a sense of unity among team members who are working towards the same goal. However, this is just the beginning. Teams need to meet regularly to discuss strategies and tackle problems that arise. Meetings are attended by three types of people- wannacomes, havetacomes, and wannaeats. The best meetings are dominated by the wannacomes, so it’s crucial to keep meetings brief and focused on the most important issues. Short meetings keep everyone productive and more likely to be engaged in the project. By taking these steps, havetacomes and wannaeats might be converted into wannacomes, helping to build an effective and motivated team.

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