Book Review: Leadership Simple

Leadership Simple by Jill and Steve Morris is a wonderful book for business consultants who are often brought in to solve employee conflict, manage resistance in employees, mediate a manager/worker conflict or just generally work on team building. Leadership Simple is very much in line with the new paradigm made popular by Daniel Pink with his book, Drive–the new paradigm of internal motivation.

Leadership Simple discusses the five basic needs that motivate all of us. Then they present their model called, “The Triangle of Choice.” This model shows us that when we aren’t getting what we want, we basically have three options available to us. We can change what we want, we can change our behavior, or we can change our perception. This is a very powerful notion because most people when they aren’t getting what they want expend a lot of nonproductive time and energy trying to change people and situations that cannot be changed or simply complain about the situation, rather than placing their focus on what they can–their desires, their behavior and/or their perception. Brilliant!

The other piece I really appreciate about the Morris’ model is the way they demonstrate holding people accountable for their agreements. When a company attempts to make the switch from a dictatorial model to a more democratic one, they usually make the mistake of thinking they can no longer hold people accountable for their commitments. Being a good manager means effectively maintaining the proper balance between supporting one’s workers by providing them opportunities to get their needs met at work and constantly improving the quality of the goods and/or services produced. The Morris’ demonstrate through case studies how to hold workers accountable while still maintaining a positive relationship. I highly recommend this book for managers and consultants. Thank you Jill and Steve!

Leave a Reply