Cover of 3D Team Leadership by Bradley L. Kirkman and T. Brad Harris
3D Team Leadership
A New Approach for Complex Teams
Bradley L. Kirkman and T. Brad Harris


312 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804796422
Ebook ISBN: 9781503603233

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Excerpts and More

Many organizations believe that high-functioning teams hold the key to breakthrough thinking, superior customer service, and high-quality products. But, all too often, leaders and managers fail to support teams so that they can deliver on their promises. For instance, many leaders ask for teamwork, but only reward and evaluate individual performance; focus on the group at the expense of individual members; or leave team members to sort out their differences, leading to the formation of unhealthy cliques.

In 3D Team Leadership, Bradley L. Kirkman and T. Brad Harris present a dynamic new model for maximizing team performance. Previous books have treated teams as groups of people working interdependently, an approach that overlooks two crucial components: the individuals who make up the team and the subgroups that form within and between teams. To create a fuller portrait of team behavior, Kirkman and Harris propose an innovative "3D" framework that takes into account all three factors. Drawing on their own research, best-in-class studies, and extensive consulting, they show leaders how to properly diagnose the state of their teams, hone in on the element that needs attention, and seamlessly shift focus among the three components of teamwork as time goes on. Delivering practical guidance rooted in scholarship, 3D Team Leadership is a thoughtful and straightforward guide for the complex challenge of teaming today.

About the authors

Bradley L. Kirkman is General (Ret.) H. Hugh Shelton Distinguished Professor of Leadership in the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University.

T. Brad Harris is Assistant Professor in the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University.

"Great leaders bring out the best in their teams. This handbook from two experts makes the latest evidence on team leadership accessible to anyone looking for insight in a messy and complex world."

—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

"Ideas about teams and teamwork are antiquated and cliché. This deeply researched, practical, and anecdote-filled book offers a thoroughly unique model and cutting-edge perspective on the complexity of teams in today's global space. Applying the principles of 3D Team Leadership not only teaches you about teamwork, but also when and how to focus on unleashing individual potential."

—Andrea Kremer, Emmy Award winning journalist, Chief Correspondent, NFL Network, and Correspondent, HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

"In 3D Team Leadership, Kirkman and Harris don't just tell team leaders to shift focus depending on the circumstances. With evidence, clarity, and wit, they show precisely how to do so for greatest success."

—Robert Cialdini, Arizona State University, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion

"Given the reality of today's teams—global, remote, often 24/7—it is time for a fresh look at the topic. 3D Team Leadership is the must-read for those engaged in and, especially, leading modern teams. It provides a detailed, example-filled breakdown of challenges and real-world solutions."

—Jon Pershke, VP, Strategy, Transformation, & Customer Solutions, Lenovo

"3D Team Leadership is the best, most current, and most complete look at teams available today. Both deeply rigorous and immediately practical, the book transforms the latest research on teams into a bold and original action plan. Even in the world's most complex contexts, this book helps leaders achieve greatness."

—Jake Breeden, author of Tipping Sacred Cows

"We are busier than ever leading multiple teams and partnering with people across global locations. 3D Team Leadership teaches us how to direct our focus in order to work smarter, not harder. It's a valuable book for leaders who seek a practical approach and the tools to implement it."

—Sandy Ho, Senior Director of Talent Management, Carter's

"3D Team Leadership is a very valuable resource for anyone teaching leadership. With the perfect balance of accessibility, on the one hand, and a firm grounding in scientific theory and research on the other, it provides a contemporary approach to real issues with teams and multi team systems."

—John R. Hollenbeck, Michigan State University

"Working across different time-zones, incompatible technology platforms, language barriers, conflicting cultural norms, and competing priorities? Kirkman and Harris provide a straightforward, evidence-based lens for understanding and maximizing performance in even the messiest team environments—with specific consideration for global teams."

— Katharyne Gabriel, HR Director, YUM! Brands

"3D Team Leadership provides a remarkably fresh perspective on team dynamics. A must-read for any professional leading in today's global and changing environment, Kirkman and Harris demystify the art and science of team motivation and outline powerful, practical solutions to improve results."

—Jessica Steinberg, Senior Director of Human Resources, The Home Depot

"Effective teams are fundamental to all organizations. 3D Team Leadership offers an organized and thoughtful leadership model with a common sense approach to teams that can help any leader. "There is no 'I' in team" will mean something new and improved to all who share the wisdom granted to us by Kirkman and Harris. This excellent, well organized, and practical text will help leaders focus and work smarter."

—Frank Rosinia, Executive Vice President & Chief Quality Officer, John Peter Smith Health System

"3D Team Leadership is a substantive handbook on which I can rely to make sense of any team situation. It debunks fundamental "truths," engages on a deep yet accessible level, and provides a roadmap to better team leadership. Kirkman and Harris show that despite what has already been said of teams and leaders, we still have a lot to discover. It's a one-stop-shop that I'm happy to have on my desk."

—Gentzy Franz, Director of People, Uptake

"With a clear and humorous writing style and lively tone that speaks directly to readers, this book focuses on how modern teams work, adding a novel twist to our traditional view."

—Tanya Menon, Ohio State University, co-author of Stop Spending, Start Managing

"This book provides answers to the critical question of how we should lead teams in an age of uncertainty. Digging deeply into theory and practice, the authors offer practical advice supported by pithy, real-world examples. Their archeological exploits reveal the roles and critical importance of individuals, sub teams, and teams as a whole. As layer upon layer is revealed, so too is a map of how leaders need to develop."

—Deborah Ancona, MIT Sloan School of Management and author, X-Teams

"At some point, you realize that your personal success is dependent on your ability to inspire, motivate, and guide others to their own great performances. For most of us, this starts with being a team leader. Kirkman and Harris walk you through the process of making sense of even the most complex teams, and empowering your members to achieve their own potential."

—D. Stacy Betts, Senior Director, Americas Partner Organization, Cisco

3D Team Leadership provides practitioners with a new framework for understanding successful teams. By following the guidelines laid out in this book, readers will be able to place appropriate emphasis on individuals, teams, and subteams—enhancing their performance as a leader."

—M. Travis Maynard, Colorado State University

"Too many people struggle to collaborate effectively as they wonder how to juggle their colleagues' competing demands. If this sounds familiar, 3D Team Leadership is the book for you. Drawing on the best of practice and research, Kirkman and Harris provide a user-friendly framework to help you allocate and focus your time and attention across teams, subteams, and individual team members. This book helps you work smarter to get the most from your teams."

—Jeff Polzer, Harvard Business School

"3D Team Leadership represents a novel, current, and well-researched approach to the complex challenges of team leadership, which provides accessible, practical examples and descriptions of teams in real-world organizations. This book represents an important advance in team research and should be on the reading lists of all leaders, HR professionals, academics, and researchers who lead, support, or study teams in organizations....The lively and witty writing style of the authors will hold the reader's attention"

—John W. Fleenor, Personnel Psychology