Eliciting Excellence

Bringing Out the Best in People

Non-Fiction - Business/Finance
122 Pages
Reviewed on 03/05/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tshombye K. Ware for Readers' Favorite

Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People by Michael J. Beck is a very informative book. It is well written and timely on the subject of empowering people to reach their next level — mentally and physically. The author gives vivid stereotypical stories to help drive home a point of reference for each prescribed chapter. The stories are descriptively created in such a way that you’ll find yourself relating in one way or another.

“The bottom line is that if you want to maximize results, you must maximize engagement by bringing out the best in people and getting them to put forth their best effort.”

This statement, along with others, is true on so many levels. When you engage with someone you open a common ground of appreciation and dependability. This engagement subconsciously encourages another in an effective way. Beck continues and gives practical advice, seemingly firsthand, to leaders and those who seek to become examples in their own field. I especially love how the author characterized certain aspects when dealing with “Self” in reference to engagement with others. I found myself reading certain sections more than once because of the empowerment found within the content. The author extensively tackles the issue of integrity, along with others, in a very informative way.

“Our words and actions will carry more weight and have greater impact if we’ve earned the trust (and respect) of others in advance.”

From chapter to chapter, there are so many wonderful truths. I definitely recommend this book to not only leaders, but to anyone who is seeking a shift in their life from stagnation to productivity in the arena of excellence. I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree and I have myself mimicked the same concept as the author mentions below.

“I practiced the behaviors I admired, even though sometimes it took me out of my comfort zone. And I owned up to my mistakes, apologizing to people when I didn’t do what I knew I should have done.”

Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People by Michael J. Beck is a book that will push you to a new level of excellence.

Joel R. Dennstedt

Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People by Michael J. Beck is a rather trim volume that efficiently presents an organized, detailed, bullet-pointed, logical, and informative set of leadership guidelines by which any leader may learn to draw forth from people in general - and his or her employees in particular - the best performance of which they are capable. The rationale and need for such a focused presentation is established early on: “If you want to maximize results, you must maximize engagement by bringing out the best in people and getting them to put forth their best effort.” As a foundation on which to expound his well-developed and highly effective strategy, the author relies on the proven universal psychological requirements espoused and charted within Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Corresponding to this famous pyramid of importance are the actions and behaviors which will enhance or diminish the engagement that leaders so actively seek and profoundly want.

Michael J. Beck’s book, Eliciting Excellence, would serve exceedingly well as the companion piece to an actual, in-person, live, interactive presentation geared toward developing skills for effective leadership. Within this necessarily limited framework of such a circumscribed project, some of the necessary passion for the subject - as well as the opportunity for in-the-moment witnessing of examples - gets lost in the academic professionalism of the writing. The leader who is sincerely seeking to improve his skills may be less invested and enthused than if he were actively participating in a live session based upon the work. This written presentation does not lack for genuine information or provocative action points on which to practice, nor does it neglect to offer illustrative scenarios of those points – although some scenes are theoretical and others anonymous, and thus are somehow less engaging – and on that basis Mr. Beck’s short treatise on effective leadership deserves the same respect and professional appreciation he so adamantly recommends for others.

Gisela Dixon

Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People by Michael Beck is a non-fiction book on what makes a good and effective leader and what leadership means. Eliciting Excellence is a comprehensive book that encompasses all aspects of leadership qualities, and how leadership affects not just people, but the entire environment and attitudes of people around you. One of the main core elements of Eliciting Excellence is how to work with people and, as a leader, how to not only get them to respect and even like you, but also how to help them achieve their best results for themselves as well as for you. The book is broken down into chapters such as advice on how effective leaders should conduct themselves, how to interact with team members and subordinates, and in the end how to bring these aspects together in creating a successful organization and a successful team. Each of the chapters is broken down into bite-sized pieces of advice and tips focusing on these specific areas.

Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People by Michael Beck is an inspiring book and a must-read for anyone who aspires to become a leader or is in a position of leadership. It is crucial to understand these qualities and this book can be a great help. The writing style is engaging, clear, and follows a logical pattern of simple truths. I certainly learnt some new things and would recommend this book to any leaders or potential leaders, especially in the business field.

Faridah Nassozi

Many would urge, and rightfully so, that an organisation's most valuable asset is its human capital. Consequently, an effective leader should be one that brings out the best in his team so that they are effectively skilled for the job and motivated enough to give it their best. At the end of the day, what is the point in making all the right business decisions if the people supposed to see them through at every single level are unable or unwilling to do so? In Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People, Michael Beck aims to equip leaders with the necessary skills needed to understand, nurture and bring out the best in their teams. As a leader, your success hinges on how well you conduct yourself, how well you relate to people, and how well you guide the organization - Michael Beck is here to show you how to excel in all three aspects.

Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People by Michael Beck is an exciting read that is very practical and relevant to today's dynamic leadership environment. Excellent leadership is a delicate balancing act that is heavily dependent on how well one guides their team to excellence. Just like many other people, Michael Beck struggled at the beginning of his leadership journey and he now uses that experience and the lessons learned along the way to help others avoid the leadership mistakes he made and be well equipped for the challenges that are part of the journey. This book is a must-read for all leaders and aspiring leaders who aim to be more effective at the job.

Jack Magnus

Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People is a non-fiction business/finance work written by Michael J. Beck. Beck is an executive coach and public speaker who offers an analysis and presentation of how executives and business leaders can work most effectively with their people to achieve excellence. Much of his insight comes from both his personal experiences in dealing with management and those situations where he was part of the management team. Effective and highly esteemed leaders are often the result of their having had the good fortune of working under such a leader, but, failing that, there are a number of guiding principles that Beck shares for leaders to put into practice to help them in the task of bringing out the best of their staff. Interpersonal skills are shown to be essential and introduced with examples to assist in delivering the author's message. Beck issues challenges to his readers to hold themselves responsible for their own standards of conduct, to treat those who answer to them with respect and show that they are appreciated for their contributions and efforts, and shows how to develop effective strategies and initiatives. He also includes links for an Initial Survey and In-Depth and Leadership Assessment forms.

Michael J. Beck's non-fiction business/finance work, Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People, shows how executives and bosses can foster an atmosphere that is dynamic and positive through an analysis of their own behavior and effective communication with those who answer to them. As a former manager, I was quite impressed by his presentation and principles. His ideas seem simple to incorporate into one's style of leadership, and his emphasis on having a positive outlook is spot-on. I was most impressed with his strategies for developing one's staff and his differentiating treating employees as people rather than things. While this may seem a self-evident concept, I'm sure that most, if not all, of the author's readers will recall at least some instances where a boss led them to feel less than valued, and his words may influence them to temper their reactions and interactions in the future. There's a lot to learn in this deceptively slim volume, and it's all worth a good, long look. Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People is highly recommended.