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Book Review: 'Nine Minutes on Monday'

My speaking and sales leadership consulting practice causes me to work with many people who are experiencing stressful situations, like having to learn to manage a sales team for the first time or realizing that their organizations are not performing at optimal levels.

James Robbins, the author of Nine Minutes on Monday, captures the reader immediately by building on the story of him climbing a mountain -- at one point, almost at the summit, he becomes unsure if he can make it to the top. As the book moves forward, 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 may be familiar with a few of Robbins' tactics, what makes his book a must-read for all management levels is his formula and his challenge to simply spend nine minutes each Monday to consider nine simple questions. An example is: "How can I promote a feeling of autonomy in one employee this week?"  Each question is simple, but profound in its potential impact on your team.

Too many times in this fast-paced world -- especially if you're a sales manager -- we neglect the basics of leadership and the need to build the appropriate culture that drives performance. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that this is a favorite topic of mine. 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 nine points is "The Need to Play." In that chapter, he describes the importance of having fun...with an example from a funeral home!  

At the end of each chapter is a "Summary" page that recaps the chapter's lessons and provides one of the nine questions to consider and a key action step. At Robbins' Web site you can download other tools, as well. Buy the book, read it, apply Robbins' plan and find out how in the end, he made it to the top of the summit by learning the ultimate leadership lesson.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on October 22, 2012


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