Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Can you use a tee shirt to take the team to another level?

I was working with a finance manager one day and watched him step outside the box and invent a brand new way to take his team to another level.

He’d brought the team together for a meeting. After the initial checkin, he told them he had something he wanted to say that wasn’t on the agenda. The room got quiet. Phil then began telling his team that he’d been doing some reflecting about what could be done to take this team “to the next level.” He said he was thinking of what little things could be done that could make a big difference.

“One thing I realized,” he said, “is that I interrupt you too often. Sometimes I get so excited about my idea that I don’t really take the time to listen to yours. And I don’t like that I do that. I’m going to change that.”

The people around the conference table said nothing. You know what they were thinking, right? Sure…he says that, but will he follow through? Or perhaps, It’s about time!

Then Phil stood up, as he went on to say, “I really mean what I’m saying. I’m making a full commitment to cut my interruptions to a minimum.” As the group stared, Phil took off his jacket, removed his tie, and then began unbuttoning his shirt. The group stared as Phil removed his shirt, revealing a tee shirt he’d had made up for this occasion. On it was printed, “I will not interrupt my team!”

Everyone chuckled, and then Phil took it to another level. What he’d already done was terrific, but his next act took his leadership to another level. He began passing out a one-page handout to each person. On the sheet of paper was a drawing of the outline of a tee shirt. “Now,” he said, “I want you to think about one thing you could do differently that could help take this team to the next level. It’s not just my responsibility – we are one team, and we all share the responsibility. So think about it – what could you do to help this team improve, if you chose to? Write it down on that handout.”

For the next few minutes, people thought about it and scribbled something on their handout. Then Phil asked them to share what they’d written. The ideas were simple yet profound. I could come to meetings better prepared. I could stop trying to prevail in every conversation. I could bury the hatchet with Jim and move on. I could speak up more often. Around the table they went, as each person shared what he or she could do that would help the team be more effective.

When they were finished, Phil simply said, “We all know what we could do. Now, let’s just do it.”

And you know what, that’s just what they did. It’s pretty hard to declare what you could do differently and then not do it.

Afterwards, I teased Phil a bit. “You know what you’ve just done? You’ve pulled off a full-blown team building in fifteen minutes.”

Phil couldn’t have been happier with the results.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.