The Synergist

Leading Your Team to Predictable Success

Les McKeown

St. Martin's Press, January 2012

Why do so many teams and groups fail to perform—achieving compromise at best and gridlock at worst?

The Visionary with big ideas and little interest in execution. The Processor who insists on putting every detail through a system, slowing things down. The Operator who just wants to end the meeting and get back to the “real work.” These three characters— “Visionary’, ‘Processor’, and ‘Operator’ (VOP)—sit at every business meeting, each battling for their competing agendas and together blocking the way to real progress.

The cost to organizations in lost productivity is exorbitant.

What does it take to end this gridlock?  In The Synergist, best-selling author Les McKeown argues that every successful team includes a critical fourth player—the Synergist—who can take all three: the bold dreamers, the pragmatic realists, and the systems designers; and knit them together into a dynamic, well-rounded team. Most importantly, according to McKeown, author of Wall Street Journal best-seller Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track—and Keeping It There, the Synergist is a role 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, in The Synergist 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, gridlock, or underperform. Only the Synergist can put aside their own agenda and interpret the language of different personalities, capture the best from each person, and put the good of the enterprise ahead of their own ego.

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About the Author

Les McKeown is the President & CEO of Predictable Success. He has has started over 40 companies in his own right, and was the founding partner of an incubation consulting company that advised on the creation and growth of hundreds more organizations worldwide.

Since relocating from his native Ireland to the United States in 1998, McKeown advises CEOs and senior leaders of organizations on how to achieve scalable, sustainable growth. His clients range from large family-owned businesses to Fortune 100 companies, and include Harvard University, American Express, T-Mobile, United Technologies, Pella Corporation and Chiron.

Based in Marblehead MA, McKeown now spends his time consulting, writing, teaching, and speaking. Les has appeared on CNN, ABC, BBC, Inc, Entrepreneur, USA Today and The New York Times.