Book Title: Lead Like a Pro: How Great Executives, Team Leads, Equestrians, Golfers, Dancers, and You Do More With a Lighter Touch

It has been said that the United States is experiencing a jobless recovery. The redesign of work is partially the cause. Are you ready to lead your organization in this environment?
I'm kicking off my next book project and will take on the future of work from its design to its leadership. You will learn how some of the best known companies, and many you may not have heard of, work with their people, technology, and organizational practices to lead with a lighter touch. What they've found is that, like pro equestrians, golfers, and dancers, you can't keep a death grip and do great things.  

Light Touch for A Long Drive

Lead Like A Pro will show how to build individual, team, and organizational strength such that excellence is supported throughout the organization, rather than reliant on rigid rules or directive management. Sam Snead, the famous golfer, is said to have described the best grip for a long golf shot as the same as holding a baby bird in your hand. You’ll find the same advice from professional equestrians, dancers, baseball players, CEOs, and team leads.
Use a light touch for greater success. Develop clear and meaningful tasks, goals, and technology tools to support the organization’s direction, complementing or substituting for formal rules that may reduce engagement or become obsolete with quickly changing environments. Work with the best individuals and teams, as employees or contractors, and help them refine their skill sets. Flexibility, transparency, and increasing worker accountability result in greater performance, the ability to quickly adapt to changing customer needs, and opportunities to leverage a global workforce. We are symphony conductors rather than engineers designing cogs in a machine.


If you can figure out how to lead in a light handed way, you win. You lead by letting go of the more rigid structures that were valuable when employee turnover was low and environments didn’t move at the pace of the Internet. Our likely future needs leadership via flexible systems of people, technology, and organizational practice as well as interpersonal relationships. 


Lead Like a Pro leverages research from around the world to show how to decide when to loosen your grip and when to hold tight. Detailed examples from over ten organizations, ranging across start-ups and mid-sized organizations to the Fortune 100, are supported by forty years of research. The results are a toolkit of design strategies to strengthen three foundations of work: direct feedback from the work itself, support from modern technology, and the on-going development of expertise. These foundations apply whether the work is done by long-term employees, contractors, or crowds sourced from around the world. The three foundations are placed in context with modern considerations of where the work is done (e.g., in the office, at home, in a co-working space) and leader communication (e.g., face to face or on-line). 
  • Amplify leadership in global settings
  • Mix technology tools and services to support management and innovation at all levels
  • Leverage employees’ contributions through work done by crowdsourcing and contractors
We’ll also cover how you transition from a more tightly held model to one with a looser grip.


You're in on the ground floor. What do you need want to know first?