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Book notes: Gung Ho by Ken Blanchard

Book notes: Gung Ho by Ken Blanchard

06/05/23

I don’t read book summaries. Neither should you. The following are mostly notes to myself, and my interpretations.

I bought Raving Fans and Gung Ho together since Amazon showed them together. I wasn't sure about the value add initially given the reluctance I have with team building, and team management themed non-fiction. Given the book is super short, I didn't mind giving this Gung ho a shot! This book is about things or rather a set of behaviours inspired from animals that can help one motivate people in an organisation.

By the way, Gung ho is chinese for working together & I think I'm incapable of pronouncing it as intended — Gung - Ho, I naturally tend to yell Gun-Gho!

The book anchors on three tenets of running a great team:

1. Spirit of the squirrel: Do worthwhile work

  • Work needs to be understood as important — give complete context on work than just making it a task

  • Work needs to lead to a shared and well-understood goal

  • Values should guide all plans, decisions, and actions

  • There should be two types of goals: result goals (where we want to be) and value goals (the impact we're expecting)

2. Way of the beaver: Control how you're going to achieve the goal

  • Respect team members' thoughts, feelings, needs, and dreams

  • Discover what people do naturally and adapt the organisation to take advantage of natural behaviour

  • Get the necessary resources in place and put up a plan

  • Set clear goals and values, and then let the team members do the work

3. Gift of the goose: Keep cheering

  • Congratulate and cheer on team members actively and genuinely

  • Celebrate not only wins, but even the progress

  • Recognition of work should be specific and spontaneous vs. generic and automated

  • Keep a note of weekly wins, progress made by the team members and pass a note of encouragement

  • Celebrate wins more frequently

A quote I loved from the book, "If you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes."

I recommend this book. Quick read and great analogies.

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