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Rookie Mistakes: Advice from Top Executives on Five Critical Leadership Errors

Length: 2 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: Business, Management
5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Are Your Critical Leadership Errors Undermining Your Team and Organization?

After working with more than 300 teams as a Principal Consultant for The Table Group, Mike McHargue recognized an emerging pattern. It became clear that, as many of those well-intentioned leaders made their way from managers to executives, they made significant leadership mistakes. 

For his work Rookie Mistakes: Advice from Top Executives on Five Critical Leadership Errors, McHargue interviewed hundreds of executives, 25 of whom were vulnerable enough to share their wisdom about errors that must be avoided both by the rookie leader and the seasoned executive.

Rookie Mistakes focuses on the most damaging of those errors to leaders and teams. McHargue learned from his research that those errors fell into five clear categories:

• Allowing confusion
• Failing to connect with their team
• Running truly awful meetings
• Hiring too fast and firing too slow
• Failing to give and receive feedback

This book offers practical advice to help you become the leader you always imagined you would be.
 

©2018 Mike McHargue (P)2018 Mike McHargue

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  • Overall
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Insightful and helpful

Whenever I'm learning something new, I prefer to listen to audiobooks. I loved that this book was available in this format. In my opinion, no matter what type of company you were working for, there are many positive and helpful lessons taught in this audiobook. I personally identified the most with hiring too fast, firing to slow as I've been in that position. It's a common mistake that can be corrected as the narrator shares the authors offered solutions. Throughout the whole book, I was surprised at how relatable each set of scenarios where along with the interviews. It makes you understand each of them on a different level. I found it to be fascinating, engaging and before I knew it, the book was over. Whether you're making your way in a career, volunteer groups, committees, independent work or even self-employment, this is a really important book to listen to. It can give you a few life lessons mixed in with work lessons to help you get to your goal in a quicker and better way. It's really well done!

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Easy listening with captivating life experiences

I must admit - I was prepared to fall asleep to an audio recording. Especially when the subject matter is pretty boring and technical.

I was wrong. There was something about the narrators' voices, how they took turns lecturing and sharing their insights with us and the way the content of this book is laid out. I was intrigued and felt confident this audio book will provide me with tips on how to better my leadership skills.

I value the experiences that were shared in this book and felt that the steps highlighted to avoid critical errors will be useful to me in the near future.

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Great Ideas

Rookie Mistakes is such a valuable book for anyone in leadership roles, which is most of us in some part of our lives. Not only does the author take real life experiences of leaders in all walks of life, but he also creates a plan that makes the reader empowered to learn more about their own leadership strengths and opportunities. Actionable items are missing in so many other leadership books, so I was skeptical that Rookie would be the same. But, I was wrong. The stories have the lessons built in, and at the conclusion the reader is left with real ways to include the lessons in their own daily lives. I really enjoyed it and I think that Rookie Mistakes would be a valuable tool to any leaders' arsenal.

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  • JP
  • 11-16-19

Great lessons for all

This was such a great listen. Yeah, the book itself is great, but listening to it, with all of the different readers really enhanced the material. I appreciated that the stories were from leaders from companies of all different sizes and backgrounds. I recognized several that hit close to the work I am in, so the examples resonated even deeper with me. So many of the lessons learned in this book can be applied to other areas in your life, not just work. They range from larger things that take time and effort, to smaller things that indirectly enhance relationships. This is a short listen, under three hours, so everyone really ought to give it a listen. There are lessons for all here!

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Perfect Motivation in the Perfect Amount of Time

Mike McHargue has done a wonderful job with "Rookie Mistakes: Advice from Top Executives on Five Critical Leadership Errors." I love the collection of stories from leaders in recognizable fields and from well-known companies. I loved the narration of the book -- with several different readers to illustrate the varying points of view.

One story has stuck with me in the week or so since I finished reading it. One gentleman receives a promotion and talks about how he wishes there had been a plan in place to help him be successful in it with mentorship, education and training. It's something I am trying to keep in mind -- how can I help those who work I alongside to be most successful? I currently serve in a leadership role in my church, and I sometimes forget that it may be someone's first time serving in a particular role. I need to be mindful and a mentor... which will help us all succeed.

This is a worthwhile book for any new leader, or seasoned professional. There are always ways to improve and grow -- especially at the top.

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Very Insightful

Rookie Mistakes advise from top executives by Mike McHargue was good, I especially liked this as an audiobook.  I thought it was very insightful and I enjoyed how it used multiple people/executives to tell the different stories that the book used to get it’s point across.  All of the narrators were good, which as an avid audiobook user, I find to be a miracle.  The use of good narrators just made the already well written book an even better experience to listen to.  I’d say the main thing I took away from this book was learning the importance of making sure that the mission statements/Core Values/goals/expectations of any organization or business are clear to every employee/volunteer and that everything that is done, from hiring and accountability to firing should always be aligned with these things.  Another thing I noticed is that the tips that were given in this book aren’t just useful for companies and organizations, they could also be used within families as well.  I was also pleased to hear that there are study materials that come with it so that it can be something used for conferences or Smallgroup etc. Overall it was a good book and I would definitely recommend it, especially in audiobook format.

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Great examples of how to be a leader.


I had the pleasure of listening to this amazing and unique collection of short stories. Real life stories that helped to give a specific lesson learned. I am in a leadership position not only in my professional life but my home life too. As I listened I realize I have made some of these common sense mistakes and didn’t give it the attention that it they deserved. There are 5 categories that leadership falls into. I got the most from the category of Failing to Give and Receive Feedback but my favorite was the Awful Meetings chapter. What is great about this book is the experience that these stories are formed from and then the assessment that comes after them. They read as here is the problem and here is one solution and this is how you handle it. Most of the assessments are something that can be immediately and effectively put into action. Rookie Mistakes is about avoiding the trap we set for ourselves and learning from people from all different levels of leadership. I enjoyed listening to Mike McHarge narrate his own book. It added an element of pride and passion for the words that you can read but when listened too it makes it more real. I recommend this book to use as a tool to give yourself more confidence in your leadership abilities whether it be in a professional setting or a personal life. 

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Easy to listen to & many, many good pieces of info!


Are you ready to write your company’s obituary?
What would it say?
In lieu of flowers, the last known employees ask for your recommendation on new, stable employment.

Maybe the headstone would say:
Born prematurely from a bold idea, Company ABC lost its battle with poor management and fluctuating cash flow.
Here lies a company full of smart and motivated employees who could not be supported with a clear statement of purpose or follow through on their team goals.
2011-2019
Sub-par mission statement

Notes posted on the doors state:
We ask for your understanding while we maintain our privacy at this time (and attempt to explain our failure to investors).


A few very clear, key points I took from this book that I jotted down as things to remember in my management moving forward are:

Can your team tell you:
Their purpose
Clarity on values
Goal and objectives

You must have clear and repeated goals and objectives to provide full clarity to your employees


“Only do what only you can do” - delegate, delegate, delegate.

Don’t over-value your contribution and don’t over-involve yourself in all aspects of the business. Delegate to others and show gratitude for your team.

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Rookie Mistakes and how to not make them

I've been on an audiobook kick lately and came across Mike McHargue's Rookie Mistakes: Advice from Top Executives on Five Critical Leadership Errors the other day. I'll start off by saying this book was so easy to listen to. I found myself listening to it around the house as well as in the car. The narrator was pleasant to listen to and I enjoyed the way the author framed the book. As the title hints, there are five categories that leadership tends to fail in. They are Allowing Confusion, Failing to Connect With Their Team, Running Truly Awful Meetings, Hiring Too Fast And Firing Too Slow and Failing To Give And Receive Feedback. What I really enjoyed listening to was the real life stories that fellow executives shared about the mistakes they had made. Their insight and feedback was extremely helpful. In my personal career, I have dealt with management that has made some, if not all, of these mistakes, but refused to hear the feedback and work on the underlying problem. My favorite chapter was the one on awful meanings. I think that this book is beneficial to every career level and something that I could see myself listening to again.

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Handy guide to avoid mistakes

I am a retired teacher and was not certain I would get much out of this audio book. I was wrong. I have been on many committees during my career and continue to serve on the boards of several community organizations. I found much to be learned in this worthwhile book. The author presents the information in an easy, conversational matter that keeps what could be a dry subject interesting. With anecdotes and examples, he proves his point. Learning from your mistakes and teaching from those mistakes is a tried and true method for being successful. This book was easy to listen to, well organized, and most informative