The Synergist

Why do so many teams fail to perform — achieving compromise at best and gridlock at worst? And what does it take to end this gridlock? Wall Street Journalbest-selling author and speaker Les McKeown shows how to take any team from gridlock to world-class success.

In The Synergist, McKeown argues that every successful team includes a critical player, the Synergist, who can take the three existing types — the bold dreamers (Visionaries), the pragmatic realists (Operators) and the systems designers (Processors) — and knit them together into a dynamic, well-rounded team. Most importantly, according to McKeown, the Synergist is a role that anyone can learn.

While most attempts at teamwork improvement deal only with the symptoms of group dysfunction such as distrust, poor communication and fear of change, McKeown addresses the root cause: the innately unstable Visionary-Operator- Processor triangle. Because each of the three styles’ motivations, views and goals are incompatible, without a Synergist every team will eventually implode, stall or underperform. Only Synergists can put aside their own agenda and interpret the language of difficult personalities, capture the best from each person and put the good of the enterprise ahead of their own egos.

McKeown, who has used techniques presented here in his consulting with Harvard University, American Express Financial Services, the U.S. Army, Microsoft, United Technologies Corp. and more, shows how any individual can fill this critical role, whether or not he or she is the formal leader of the group.