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Great People Make People Feel Great: How Leaders Elevate Teams with Cloud 9 Thinking

Have you ever stood in the business section in your favourite bookstore and wished you could pick just one book that would give you the best learning from a dozen other great titles. Or maybe you have looked for that one book that just gives you the core learning, the practical insight, the real How-to management guide. I can’t claim to have found pandoras box of management magic but in an exciting new publication called “Great People Make People Feel Great,” I found a read that left me thrilled, challenged, and inspired in equal measure. However, if I were ever asked to pick a partnership of two significant professionals to jointly write a practical management Guide, I’m not sure I would have come up with Stuart Holah and Adrian Webster.

As I was flicking through the first few pages trying to formalise my concerns as to why two such great individual thinkers could never co-author such a book I didn’t need to, as they were quick to point out at the very start of their publication their very real differences in background, experience, temperament, and perspective. And if by this stage you cannot wait to start reading, they make it even more enticing by ensuring us that if we look closely enough, we will share an inspiring and practical collection of solutions and concepts that are the outcomes of lengthy discussions that have had to resolve very real differences in perspectives and viewpoints.

As an HR Professional and a reader of too many business books I opened this read with my quiet accustomed assurance that my initial scan of the publication’s shape and chaptering offered me my desired logical read. Furthermore, it was structured around the number Nine and had nine chapters/clouds, and each was numbered in ascending order. However, my satisfying feeling that I had a book that was going to address my deep pervasive need for logical order was not going to be fulfilled. This book is alive with potential and bubbling over with potent opportunity and the recipe for each reader’s need is not yet written. We are each given the opportunity to read, to taste, to measure, mix and to produce the solution that will allow our people to “feel taller.”

With each chapter offering new perspectives and old learning in equal measure we go on an informative journey spawned from the wealth of practical experience of Holan and Webster. Chapters entitled “Celebrate Failure, Learn from Success” and “Embrace the power of small” will wet the appetite of every prospective reader but it is not my style to give away the secrets of a book as good as this one is. However, what I can assure you of is that once you start to read it you will find your collectania of people focused solutions, motivations and empowerments will be added too as each page is turned. With exciting analogies as different as sport and Bob Marley this book is a page turner as you seek out the next uplifting idea or concept that has already worked and delivered.

From the very outset of this publication the authors have us on the edge of our seats. From Bill Gates to Mahatma Ghandi and from Poker to sugar substitutes we tumble from one learning anecdote to the next delivering impactful and emotive learning at every opportunity. But don’t be tempted to skip over the detailed learning contained in each chapter. There is so much to be learned from every page.

As I said I never give away the content of a book however I would want to personally highlight chapter/Cloud 5. For me this was a true revelation that I should have known, and I should have understood yet it hits hard as I read and re-read  the pages on this cloud and found myself reliving past experiences and emotions applying the three-question matrix and finding myself increasingly tugging at my collar.

This book deserves many audiences, I would strongly recommend it reaches the bookshelf of organisational leaders at every level, but I would go further and recommend this book for anyone in a role where others look to them for direction and support. Even if you already believe you operate some of the concepts this book brings them together in a manner that ensures each is effectively assessed not only in isolation but as part of a holistic plan looking to engage and inspire. If you want to build effective teams, if you want to foster collaboration, if you want to understand how to motivate people with diverse skills and strengths this book will go a long way to help you develop such skills and apply them in effective plans. I highly recommend this book and leave the final words of this review to the authors themselves. “There is no more rewarding feeling than knowing that you are contributing towards someone’s future success”.

Published by Wiley

Reviewed by Graham White

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