Guest Column | October 25, 2012

Book Review: Nine Minutes On Monday - The Quick And Easy Way To Go From Manager To Leader

By Ken Thoreson, president, Acumen Management Group LTD

My speaking and sales leadership consulting practice causes me to work with many  individuals that are experiencing situations of stress that include either learning to manage a sales team for the first time or their organizations are not performing at optimal levels. James Robbins captures the reader immediately by building on the story of him climbing a mountain where he is almost at the summit and unsure if he can make it to the top.  As the book moves forward the James Robbins continues to share stories that make his points and describe his easy to follow plan to enhance your leadership and the performance of your team.

While any student of management and  leadership maybe familiar with a few of this tactics, what makes this book a must read for all levels management is his formula and his challenge to simply spend nine minutes each Monday to consider 9 simple questions. Too many times in the face paced world we live in, especially as sales managers, we neglect the basics of leadership and the need to build the appropriate culture that drives performance. Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know that while this is a favorite topic of mine, James Robbins can provide you a pathway to becoming the real leader you need to be in any sales leadership position.

The author builds his case for his formula by beginning to address the fundamental needs of all employees and yet provides answers and direction with examples of individuals who have applied his techniques.  One of his 9 points is: The Need to Play, in that chapter he describes the importance of having fun and his example is from a Funeral Home!  The really great way this book is put together is at the end of each chapter there is a “Summary” page that recaps the Key Lessons, provides one of the 9 Key Questions to consider and a Key Action Step.  At his web site: you can download other tools as well. An example of one of his questions is: “How can I promote a feeling of autonomy in one employee this week?  Each question is simple, but profound on its potential impact on your team.

Buy the book, read it, apply James Robbins plan and find out how in the end, he made it to the top of the summit by learning the ultimate leadership lesson.