Stellar Management Teams  book cover
1st Edition

Stellar Management Teams

ISBN 9780815373131
Published February 8, 2018 by Routledge
238 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Management teams at all levels, and individual team members in particular, are often disengaged and disconnected from the management function itself. Statements such as, "we lack common goals or they are unclear", "I have no influence", "I am not listened to nor taken into account", and "I do not feel valued – actually, nobody does", are commonplace. The authors argue this is because we have been entrenched in an era of guru leadership but that it must come to an end if our management teams are to rise to the top. An individual is not capable of controlling the complicated system of an organization, with its countless variables, especially in conjunction with the rapid change in both the economy and market forces, which are unpredictable and uncontrollable. No matter how talented the individual, no one person is in a position to manage this complex system alone – not even a guru leader. 

The authors contend that what is needed now are resilient trendsetters who will bring about a new era of top-performing teams that together form a "collective guru", which they refer to as a Stellar Management Team. 

In this book, the reader undertakes a metaphorical journey to the stars, which symbolizes top-level interaction and collaboration. The journey is the development from an ordinary management team into a Stellar Management Team, which elevates its operation up to a new level of performance and success.

Table of Contents

Table of contents


PART ONE – Do you want to fly?

1. Not thinking is heavy

Provoke thinking with gravity factors

Gravity Factor No. 1 - Emphasizing individual responsibility

Gravity Factor No. 2 – Multitude of bilateral discussion

Gravity Factor No. 3 – Dominance of numeric indicators

Gravity Factor No. 4 - Tight schedules and overloaded agendas

Gravity Factor No. 5 – Fixed roles

Gravity Factor No. 6 – Director-centricity prevents taking responsibility

Gravity Factor No. 7 – The loud ones override the quiet

Slow thinking combined with fast decisions

Hasty intuition takes us fast – even astray

New thinking instead of being in a rut

Stop and think together

2. Systems thinking – basis of new thinking

New elements from systems thinking

The systems dictatorship

Eight systemic ideas for stellar team designers

Systemic Idea 1: There are invisible forces in the management team

Systemic Idea 2: Paradoxes are compulsory

Systemic Idea 3: Spontaneity creates miracles

Systemic Idea 4: Resistance belongs to systems

Systemic Idea 5: Everything affects everything in a system

Systemic Idea 6: Leadership renews itself constantly

Systemic Idea 7: Control is an illusion

Systemic Idea 8: Change is a constantly changing phenomenon

Systems oriented management team enables Superproductivity

Success factors of The Stellar Team

Towards the star

The two levels: primary and secondary goals

Core of Part One: thinking, systems and guiding star

PART TWO – Secondary goals are the launch pad

3. The course is set

A management team needs a mission of its own

The best mission is a defined mission

Make your mission alive

Make your guiding star visible

Goal heat is dangerous

(1) SMART goal narrows too much!

(2) Goal may weaken morality?

(3) Goals may prevent learnin

(4) Goals may lead to over-performing

(5) Linearity of goals is rare

(6) Controlling through goals is an illusion

Deepening goal thinking

How to follow your star?

Strategy makes your mind focused

Individual significance of focus

Focus of the strategy

4. Respect internal and external stakeholders

Customer experience is always right

Customer experience is redeemed at contact points

Keep your eyes open

Internal stakeholders must be taken seriously

Board of directors – Influential actor in the background

Board of directors meets the expectations of Stellar Team

5. Meeting practices in order

Fine-tuning brains in the management team

First: The brain is a machine for creating connections

Second: The brain presents most decisions by intuition

Third: We have the brain of herd animals

Good decisions are induced with questioning

New energy to the meetings

Best practices of theme meetings

Developing standard meetings

Refreshing postures

6. Success metrics in the cockpit

Metrics connected to strategy

Primary and secondary success metrics

Priorities regarding measurement of primary goals

7. Strengthening the launch pad

Coincidence generates different results than control

A different kind of success

Chance will favour the conscious developer

Coincidences as a new management team focus

Constant or repeated renewal?

Success focused operation

How should this be?

Core of Part Two: Secondary goals as launch pad

PART THREE – Attraction of  primary goals

8. Commitment is the core of guiding star

There are two types of commitment within ourselves

Two types of egoism – the right and the wrong one?

A reward system steers

Is collective responsibility a collective mistake?

9. Trust creates energy

Trust is worth exploring

Trust in competence is easily detected

Trust in agreement means integrity

Communication styles build trust

Four dimensions of behaviour

Open communication style

Straightforward communication style

Reliable communication style

Accepting communication style

Trust as regards attitude is perceivable

Individual tendency to trust

To trust requires the courage to take risks

Can you accelerate trust formation?

1. Relation factors

2. Hope and expectations

3. Methods and techniques

Sharing dreams is trusting

10. Diversity and conflict competence

It is useful to shy away from diversity

Court of identical members

Court makes war against divergence

Heroes build peace

Look in the mirror

Behavioural styles in practice

Management team is a sum of styles

Influencing the structure of the management team

Conflicts are "business as usual"

Unclear goals blur the vision

Attitude handicap is crippling

Incompetence frustrates

Changes confuse the team

Time pressure plays on the nerves

Lack of leadership creates shaky ground

Overcoming the fear of conflicts

Conflict competence is a team skill

Ideas for overcoming fear of conflicts



Meaning amplifier

Development is possible

11. Feedback puts wings on development

Systems offer opportunities for operations

Systems intelligent way of initiating change in a system called a team

Correct your understanding

Asking for feedback takes courage

Acknowledging feedback requires consideration

12. Collaboration is a choice

Positive psychology supports The Stellar Team

Positive psychology in the cockpit

Management team is milking and being milked

Appreciative approach inspires

Common reflection and three levels of learning

Core of Part Three: the attraction of primary goals

PART FOUR – To the stars

13. Hey, we are airborne!

Right people in right places

What’s inside the hat of a real leader?

Speed to fly from role diversity

Roles are a concept of interaction

Roles and counter roles are dancing together

Role chart of a Stellar Team member

A. Influencer

B. Strategist

C. Developer

D. Coach

E. Synergy Builder

Captain of the team

A management team member can never take his hat off

Disagreement poisons the system

Member of a management team between a rock and a hard place

The chair really matters

Change of role must be recognized

14. Resilience prevents motion sickness

Change management in change

Paths of change in the brain

The northern neighbour of the USA

My brain is unfinished but the situation is stable

I think now like this – and I change my brain

New paths of the change management team

Planned and unexpected change

Need to control is controlling

Change causes dysfunctional behaviour – and always evokes emotions

How does recovery from change take place?

Resilience helps bouncing back

Characteristics that speed up recovery from change

Strong resilience is the sum of equally strong characteristics

Spontaneous management team learns

Change management team in urgency on a burning platform

"Burning platform"

"Sense of urgency"

Amygdala makes decisions on a burning platform

Elements of success: agility, competence and condition

15. The journey is long when travelling alone

A thinking management team

A sensing management team

A coaching management team

Coaching leadership as philosophy and modus operandi

How to create synergy?

How does synergistic collaboration produce more than the sum of its parts?

Effective means of building synergy

Three basic needs of a traveller

Core of Part Four: roles, resilience and synergy on our journey to the stars

The journey of The Stellar Management Team continues…



Appendix 1 – Coaching guide for management teams

Coaching – individual co-driver on your journey to the stars

Team coaching – boost your engine on the way to the stars

Clarity for definitions

Goals and results of team coaching in management teams

Team coach supports towards the guiding star

Appendix 2 – Self Care Guide for Management Teams

References and Sources


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Vesa Ristikangas is a Senior Leadership Coach and Partner at BoMentis, a business and management consultancy in Finland.

Tapani Rinne is a Trainer, Personal Resilience Coach, and CEO and founder of Ambitio Group, Finland.